BEHIND CLOSED DOORS were a young hardcore band from Baltimore, MD. As the title of this collection suggests, their tenure was all too brief. Formed in 1996 and disbanded by 1998, BEHIND CLOSED DOORS released a scarce, minimally packaged 12” on the historic punk imprint, Vermin Scum (MOSS CON, BORN AGAINST, UNIVERSAL OF ARMAGEDDON) and quickly became renowned in the Baltimore/DC region for their unusually long, dynamic songs and alarmingly unhinged live shows. Bridging the crazed emotions of early screamo bands like HEROIN and ANGEL HAIR, the thoughtful complexity of Unwound, and the sinister heaviness of HIS HERO IS GONE, BEHIND CLOSED DOORS was a huge bolt of lightning in a very tiny bottle. They broke up while in the process of writing what would have been their debut full-length for Temporary Residence in 1998, leaving behind a recorded legacy of what they were, and a blueprint of what they could’ve been.
Formed by teenage friends Guy Blakeslee, Jeffrey Duncan, and Aaron Friedman, Behind Closed Doors burned brief and bright in a bygone era of Baltimore underground music, when out-of-town bands would routinely skip the city in favor of the more renowned Washington, DC and Philadelphia – unthinkable now that bands like Animal Collective, Beach House, Future Islands, Dan Deacon, and Wye Oak have helped give Baltimore its reputation as an indie rock epicenter. To that end, Behind Closed Doors is perhaps most notable for splintering into so many more bands after their dissolution; Blakeslee joined Tonie Joy of Moss Icon/Born Against in his new band, The Convocation Of – and eventually formed his own well-known ensemble, The Entrance Band. Meanwhile, drummer Aaron Friedman joined the brutal hardcore band, Torn Apart.
Exit Lines: The Brief History of Behind Closed Doors collects the entire recorded history of Behind Closed Doors. Remastered from the original studio master tapes by Alan Douches at West West Side (Converge, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Mastodon), these songs have never sounded more visceral. The limited edition vinyl format is pressed onto opaque red with black splatter colored vinyl, and features a custom laser etching that includes the album’s lyrics etched directly into the vinyl. The artwork – comprised of historic photocopied images from Baltimore’s pre-gentrified inner harbor – was designed by Ryan Patterson of Coliseum and Black Cross. Exit Lines is a painstakingly perfect tribute for one hardcore’s truly unparalleled and unheralded bands of the 1990s.