YDI – Black Dust

YDI – Black Dust (Blood Bubble Records) 1985. This one is kinda for completists and kinda not. See, this album by hardcore Philly lunatics YDI has always been rumoured to be terrible. It is supposed to be one of the most awful examples of a metal sell-out record that any hardcore band has ever produced. Because it has been talked about a lot more than it has actually been heard, a lot of the evidence for this sell-out is based on the song titles, the graphics and the fact that singer Jackal goes by the name “Sex Machine” on the record. No I am not making that up.

Like so many rumours however, the truth is somewhere else. I think to really understand this album, a little context is necessary. Let’s face it, YDI were, not even in their earliest incarnation, an art band. They were for all intents and purposes one of the true aggro-knucklehead combos of the original hardcore era. For proof of this, check out their contributions to the Get off My Back Philly Comp or their insane A Place In The Sun 7inch. Amazing shit indeed. I would put them alongside Negative Approach aesthetically more than anybody else except that underneath the surface Brannon had artistic aspirations that later surfaced in the Laughing Hyenas.

YDI had no such aspirations and as the times changed they went “metal” like dozens of other hardcore bands. However, they really weren’t technically skilled enough to play metal so what you end up with on Black Dust are really a bunch of mosh parts. There are barely any solos to speak of and Jackals vocals are just too “hardcore” to really be metal. Lyrically, Jackal was really of the tortured hate-filled Rollins mold, and at best they sound like mid-period Black Flag (My Hell). At worst they sound like a hardcore band trying to do metal and failing (Haunted House).

Early YDI Flyer – Jackal sporting the Krueger glove

Regardless, I can’t imagine any real metal fan rocking out on this as an example of their type of music. Metal and hardcore fan Erich for instance, says, “Black Dust…was famous for its incredibly cheesy pictures of band members and very, I mean VERY bad bad bad metal music. You know, I have more than just a soft spot for Meddl, but seriously, that LP is one disgrace.” If I had a soft spot for metal, I would judge this a disgrace as well. However, looking at it now, I think it’s just a sludgy hardcore album with some metal transgressions and some decent songs. So if you have ever been curious about this, check it out.

YDI – Black Dust

1. Not Without a Fight
2. Get Out
3. Soylent Green
4. Violently Raped
5. Bloodletting
6. Haunted House
7. Dying Day
8. Murder Is So Sweet
9. In Ignorance
10. My Hell
11. Black Dust

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8 Responses to YDI – Black Dust

  1. KoolEarl says:

    Being from Philly and from being familiar with Y-DI, the reason the Black Dust album sounds like it does is that “black dust” was a drug concoction that consisted of PCP, heroin and formaldehyde which was soaked onto parsley flakes and smoked. The members of the band regularly partaked in this drug and the music on this record was written under the influence. It is an excellent
    and unique LP which I recommend.

  2. Joe says:

    Kool Earl — that is some hardcore shit!

  3. Snoopz says:

    You guys dissed all my favorite albums, what a bummer, but I’ll give you a couple more.

    Warzone’s S/T third album on Caroline Records (you all probably don’t like the first two either.)

    Anti Nowhere League – The Perfect Crime on GWR, sounds like metal meats Midnight Oil. It’s epic.

    People always said Uniform Choice went metal, but I think they sound more like Love and Rockets or something. It seems like every tape I picked up on Giant Records had a bit of a departure from HC and those really started to piss me off.

    This might have been mentioned but I also once found a Straw Dogs tape that had album art very much like Judas Priest Screaming for Vengeance.

  4. tenzin gyatso says:

    personally, i thought this album rocked.

  5. Brushback says:

    The Straw Dogs record that looks like “Screaming For Vengeance” is their so-so first EP, but “We Are Not Amused” is totally worthy.

  6. Zer says:

    Zer! This album rocks, kicks ass and reeks of hot smoke!!! It sounds like early Venom mixed with the Rattus LP of 1984 and “will evil win”.
    Zer! I’ve always enjoyed the metal/punk wanking debate and policies among highly trained trained experts of what is and what should be. Go on. And SSD “how we rock” universally rocks too.

  7. badguy-Eli says:

    as far as i’m concerned,the answer is so blatantly obvious..how we rock & break it up are by far the most repulsive-disgusting and pathetic attempt at a metal..break it up is even worse than how we rock cuz how we rock atleast has a couple of decent songs…ydi on the other hand..i think black dust is a great sludgy-heavy hardcore lp..i wouldn’t even call it metal..
    i saw ssd’s last show at suffolk university in 1985 and it was beyond disgusting…springa in leathers pant-cow boy boots and a cowboy hat. the coked out slob that he is shoulds be put to sleep like a dieing dog

  8. Arsejustin says:

    record sounds more like the sludge punk of Kilslug than anything resembling polished heavy metal music. and I like both bands. god forbid a hardcore band plays slow. side B of My War, motherfucker.

    I dug bands like them and Flipper because they mocked how cliche hardcore was becoming.

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