Crusades – s/t 7″ (2010, Scared to Death): Crusades is one of my favorite active bands right now. I was first introduced to them through their phenomenal debut full length The Sun Is Down and The Night Is Riding In, which was probably my favorite album of 2011. It still gets regular play, as does their two song 7″ and 2nd full length that followed. Their mixture of hardcore punk energy with super catchy hooks, strong anti-religions lyrics, and a cohesive aesthetic that runs both through and between their records make them an unstoppable force.
In my digging for more, I found that Crusades had one more record – this self-titled 7″. I finally came across a copy at the mighty Green Noise Records in Portland on vacation. I was stoked to get it home and give it a listen. I’m pleased to report that, while it’s their weakest material, it still blows most other things out of the water. The rumblings of what they would perfect on the first LP are there – in the artwork, the lyrics, and the songwriting. Two of the songs would even be re-recorded for the full length. The 7″ is a little looser, a little less fully formed, but is nonetheless a great listen not only for the two exclusive tracks, but to hear the path Crusades took to become what they are now.