REVERSAL OF MAN were not an easy band to pin down, which is likely what made them so exciting during their time together and so enduring in popularity ever since. Some called them “screamo” (before that distinction came to represent something far removed from basement shows and DIY releases), while others felt “hardcore,” “punk,” or even “emo violence” felt more fitting. These classifications all ultimately fell short though, as they were simultaneously none of these things and all of them too.
Tampa, Florida in the late ’90s and early 2000s, as with many cities across the U.S., saw a massive swell of incredibly talented, genre-defying bands spring up. For those that called the city and surrounding area home, the record store / venue 403 Chaos was a centerpiece culturally and REVERSAL OF MAN were among the handful of groups that felt like de facto house bands there. These were skaters, punks, and artists creating music unlike anything anyone had ever heard. It was influenced by metal, hardcore, punk, and even emo in equal measure, referential to the “classics” of these disparate sounds while innovative and unabashedly unique.
Between 1995 and 2000, Reversal of Man released a handful of EPs, splits, and a full length, culminating in their highly regarded Revolution Summer EP in 1998 and This Is Medicine LP, the latter of which released by Ebullition Records. These releases, held in such high esteem by diehard fans, have essentially falling into obscurity as the digital age spent across the musical landscape, relegated to used vinyl bins across the world.
Enter Archivist Records, a new digital-only label with the singular goal of rescuing just such incredible music from total detachment from how music is heard and discovered today. The label has teamed with Reversal of Man to make their entire catalog available digitally for the first time, with the hope that old and new listeners alike can (re)discover this music that is such a perfect snapshot of not just Tampa’s music scene of that era, but of what was happening broadly within punk and hardcore at that time.