In a genre built on relentless energy and raw expression, the name BOLD is synonymous with straight-edge hardcore music and the youth crew movement. Fans and enthusiasts, brace yourselves: Revelation Records is unveiling a lavish 35th-anniversary edition of BOLD’s seminal debut album, ‘Speak Out,’ originally unleashed in 1988.
This isn’t just a remastered reissue—it’s a love letter to an era and a subculture. The LP features a 12” x 12” full-color, 40-page booklet, designed by John Scharbach of Give/Shining Life Press, housed in an embossed gatefold jacket. The visual storytelling within the booklet comprises of show photos, zine clippings, and flyers that offer a time capsule into the world of BOLD, made up of Matt Warnke on vocals, Tim Brooks on bass, Drew Thomas on drums, and John “Zulu” Zuluaga on guitar. If vinyl isn’t your jam, the album is also available in a limited cassette edition.
Looking back at writing and recording Speak Out, vocalist Matt Warnke states: “We quickly became part of a burgeoning scene whose message, values, ideas and vision for an improved version of society was starting to take hold within a significant segment of those we were connected through within the hardcore scene. We made the decision to change the name of the band to BOLD [originally Crippled Youth] for perception reasons and wanted the album which became Speak Out to represent the name change and our overall ambitions and view of things.
Talk Is Cheap, Now Or Never, Always Try and Nailed To The X were all written in ’86 and incorporated in our set. Clear, Accept The Blame and Intro/Change Within soon followed as did Wise Up, which was included on the Way It Is Comp. Still Strong and Search were written in the weeks just prior to beginning recording sessions.
The songs which comprise the album were recorded at Electric Reels Studio in Pleasant Valley, NY. The four of us spent a good deal of time recording the tracks which make up this record, and feel this version gives justice to the time that we all put into it.”
For the collectors out there, the color vinyl pressings have been meticulously planned. From 1500 copies in Opaque Orange to Record Store Exclusive Opaque Blue limited to 600 units, this release has something for everyone. And let’s not overlook the other exclusive color variations: 450 units each of White and Orange Mix, and Translucent Orange.
As part of the festivities surrounding the vinyl release, drummer Drew Thomas has curated a special playlist. Part of Revelation’s ongoing series, the playlist offers yet another layer to the celebratory atmosphere and is available for streaming.
John Scharbach (Give/Shining Life Press) describes the process he and the band used to design the booklet: “Speak Out always sounded perfect to me so I’m looking forward to the remaster and I would never turn down the opportunity to create a booklet for BOLD. Tried a few different things, but I eventually opted for a scrapbook style layout – no text or anecdotes, just let the visuals tell the story.
I talked to [John] Zulu and got a bunch of ephemera from him. He kept a scrapbook with flyers, photos, stickers, backstage passes, etc so I wanted the booklet to reflect that. He passed along a lot of great stories too, the best being the one time BOLD came out on stage for a set at the Anthrax to the theme from Conan the Barbarian because Drew and him were huge fans of the soundtrack. Drew pushed hard for a gatefold layout in 1988 and wanted the cover to have each member showcased in quadrants modeled after the KISS Dynasty cover.
Zulu also detailed the time Jordan [Cooper, Revelation Records] showed up to a gig with a multiple page typed report entitled ‘Why BOLD should go with Revelation’ after they had already made a deal with [the label] Wishingwell. I’m always dreaming about a BOLD 4-sided shirt designed with Longrie and Dubar’s direction. This record has always been extremely important to me ever since it entered my life as a youth and I’ve spent hours obsessing over it with all of my DC hardcore family. Very honored to create this.”
BOLD’s ‘Speak Out’ remains an anthem for straight-edge hardcore, and this reissue is set to reignite the passion among a new generation of fans while offering nostalgia to those who’ve been there from the start.