Grave Mistake Records
School Jerks have finally moved passed the confines of a 7” record. Don’t worry though, they haven’t moved very far. This 45-rpm 12” runs under 15 minutes, without a second to waste. I hate to be the guy who compares a hardcore band in 2012 to Black Flag, but I’m about to do it. This record sounds a lot like early Black Flag. There. I said it. Not to mention that the album’s artwork looks a lot like Ray Pettibon (it’s actually Tara Bursey).
School Jerks is short (duh), but it’s got a lot jam packed into these 15 minutes. There’s a certain sense of urgency that you can only find in this kind of record. Not since Career Suicide’s Attempted Suicide have I heard a hardcore record with such bang-for-your-buck come out of Toronto, let alone come out in general (the Toronto Sun on the cover gave me a nice little laugh as well).
The pacing of the record kind of bunkers down around track 9, “Arrogant Order”; the jerking transitions throw off the wall-of-sound approach in the first 8 tracks, but track 10, “Endless Mirrors” picks up where it left off. More modern comparisons to Black Flag would have to be Social Circkle and Night Birds in their more hardcore moments, to a degree.
I’d call School Jerks working class hardcore if that wasn’t A: redundant and; B: Springsteen-esque. Call it whatever you want, I’m just happy that Toronto’s lively hardcore scene is being picked up and supported by the outside world.