MP3: Java - Smokescreen
The best new music is old, part II. Java was a somewhat short-lived instrumental act from Gävle, Sweden that formed out of the remains of the hardcore act Ashram. A mere footnote perhaps, but re-visitation might suggest otherwise. Also, consider that the 90s was a fertile time in Swedish hardcore, especially up in Norrland where you had acts such as Fireside, Breach, Refused and Starmarket; to say nothing of acts such as The Bear Quartet or Randy -- so many great bands, all from the same set of towns along the Bothnian coast. The year was 1996 and as such, Java embraced the zeitgeist and sought to expand the sound of modern hardcore as fragmented and moved towards postrock, a sound echoed in acts such as Slint, June of 44 and pretty much any act of that era. The remnants of the 90s 'core remains though, particularly on tracks like "Smokescreen" where you can hear the lingering effects of bands like Groundwork in the subtle mosh. Certainly not as overt as the stuff was putting out further north, but oh yeah, it's there and it's alright. Java never amounted to much in their day, they never played a show even, but they did record a demotape and has seen fit for its rerelease. There is certainly nostalgia for those of us who remember this time in music and saw it firsthand, but I'd assert that Java is simply a good band that never got heard. Until now, that is.
Java - Smokescreen