(By Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker, Lead Journalist/Writer, RiffRelevant.com)
NYHC (New York Hard-Core) music is its very own stand-alone entity, a genre unto itself that originally was a location-based designation. It still is of course but the tag of NYHC itself is used in describing certain bands now, ones coming from nowhere near The Big Apple in many cases.
One of the more short-lived but historically relative bands from within the true NYHC scene is Rest In Pieces. The band itself was started up in 1985 by Sick Of It All drummer Armand Majidi, who fronted the band, along with guitarist Rob Calhoun, bassist Josh Barker and drummer Albert Brand. They excelled at what they did best at that time which was creating aggression-driven, testosterone-enhanced heavy music.
That music was chock full of throttling energy, expressive emotion and derived from an upbringing on the streets of NYC. Rest In Pieces issued their first release, “My Rage” in 1987 via One Step Ahead Records (it has since been re-issued several times through myriad outlets). By the time it was released, guitarist Rob Echeverria (ex-Helmet, ex-Biohazard) had joined the band. Clocking in at less than thirty minutes in length, the record is a straight-ahead blast of unbridled ballsy urban angst.
Rest In Pieces played pretty regularly in their region at that time and around 1988, they were joined by bassist Craig Setari (SOIA, ex-Cro Mags, ex-Youth Of Today, ex-Agnostic Front) and in 1990, they issued their most well known work, the Roadracer Records-released “Under My Skin“. The band’s sophomore effort possessed a much cleaner, better production than its predecessor along with a slight more groove-oriented musical styling.
It was also graced with an album cover displaying a work from famed artist Brian “Pushead” Schroeder, a musician himself (see Septic Death) whose art has adorned releases from Metallica, Prong, Corrosion Of Conformity and more over the years.
“Under My Skin” would be the final (so far) studio output from Rest In Pieces as the band went so high over their recording budget that the label refused them more money or time. It has been said that the only way they saw to counteract their record deal was to dissolve the band, which they soon did.
There has been the occasional one-off show, be it a festival special occasion, where Rest In Pieces have performed. The most recent was 2017’s annual Black ‘N Blue Bowl where the band’s classic front line of Armand, Craig and Rob were joined by Danny Schuler (Biohazard) on drums.