I grew up in a suburb of Chicago called Palatine, Il. In high school I got into the whole skateboard punk rock thing. A good friend to my brother and I was a guy named Chris O'Connor. His older brother Tom was a drummer. He was a few years older than us and so we never really hung out, but we always thought he was cool. He played in bands and he had a great record collection. In fact the first hard core punk music I had was from Chris making me tapes of Tom's records. Bands like Minor Threat, Circle Jerks, 7 Seconds, Fang all came from the O'Connor house.
Anyways, when i was in highschool Tom joined Life Sentence. They were awesome. They were hardcore and they even had a little of the metal edge that was creeping in at the time when the whole crossover thing was happening. It was very cool to us because it was like, "hey I know the drummer" and that meant something at the time. I can still remember when Chris told us that life Sentence jumped onto a tour with the Dead Kennedys and played some dates with them. That was the top as far as we were concerned. Then I remember seeing a flyer where they played a gig with The Faction somewhere in the south. The flyer even has Stevie Cabellero on it. It didn't get much than that for a bunch of skaters in the 80's. Then when Lars from Metallica wore a Life Sentence T-Shirt in a Rolling Stone article. It's funny how excited we could get for something that really had nothing to do with us. But when you're a teenager I guess it just feels good to even be around such excitement.
Anyways I saw Life Sentence a couple time. They were always great. I had this record on a tape again the Chris made me. I had a tape of them on "Fast And Loud" the punk rock show on WNUR. At some point maybe I'll digitize that interview and post it.
For years I looked for this record. Then about a year ago I found this release at Amoeba. I think it is a bootleg with some added extra tracks. It obviously is a recent release, but from some of the reading I've done I think that this is a bootleg not officially released by anyone in the band.
Recently one of the members of the band released a documentary about the Chicago hard core scene called "You Weren't There". I haven't seen it yet. I'm not sure it has made its way to LA. I'll check it out as soon as I can.
As for the music. The first 5 or so songs are unbeatable hard core. Fist to your face hard. I'd like to note that there are rips of this record floating around on soulseek, but all the ones that I have come across do not have the songs labeled correctly because they do not separate "Election Day" and "Men In Blue". I have done so here.
For more on the band and a great read check out this interview with Life Sentence bassist Joe Losurda. Someone in the band has put up a myspace page here.
02 Race To Die.m4a
03 Election Day.m4a
04 Men In Blue.m4a
05 Punks For Profit.m4a
06 Peacetime Death.m4a
08 In The Street.m4a
09 Figured It Out.m4a
10 Take A Stand.m4a
11 Open Your Eyes.m4a
12 Gun Control.m4a
14 Fall In Line.m4a
17 Let Me.m4a