Early 00’s straight edge hardcore band BURDEN dug up all their old out of print obscure stuff, had it remastered and today Blackhouse Records Ltd. is launching pre-orders for the brand new, remastered complete discography with a pretty hefty CD digipak with booklet and cassette tape! We’re stoked to give you the first teaser, a refreshed version of the amazing, high-energy track “Rebirth” that will get you pumped up for the full release.
Comments Jason Kolins, Burden “The lyrics to ‘Rebirth‘ were written about my own struggles with depression that started as a teenager, and have followed me off and on throughout my adult life. It is about coming to terms and admitting to myself that something was definitely wrong, and realizing that it was going to take more than my own will power to help and change how I’d been feeling for years. And that it is ok to admit that you need help, and so important to take that first step in talking to your doctor or a professional.”
“Of all Burden’s songs, ‘Rebirth’ by far has resonated the most with people over the years. It’s crazy how many people I’ve met or have emailed me saying how that song helped them deal with their own depression, or just that they could absolutely relate to what I was saying. Sadly, now coming up on twenty years since that album came out, depression and mental health issues are more prevalent than ever.”
Vancouver Straight Edge Hardcore 1997-2004
Members of BURDEN went on to play in Blue Monday, On,Go It Alone, Bishops Green, Keep It Clear, Vacant State, Still Above Snakes, Eliminator Stagnation73 etc. Formed in the spring of 1997, by founding members Jason Kolins (vocals), Sean Spear & Mike Orpen (guitars) and Mark Thomson (bass), to put together a fast, heavy, outspoken Straight Edge Hardcore band, with a personal, sincere and positive message. Although Burden started at a time when the Hardcore scene in Vancouver was all but dead, they (along with Dissent and Reserve 34), kept the small, but dedicated scene alive for years, continually building up and strengthening the foundation, for what the now thriving Vancouver scene, is built upon today. Playing locally constantly, and throughout the NorthWest and abroad, to establish their name, Burden was the first Straight Edge band from Vancouver, to make a mark outside of their hometown.
The late 1990s and early 2000s were a strange time for hardcore and especially straight edge.
Traditional hardcore sounds were few and far between as metallic hardcore and metalcore dominated. Along with the sonic change, there was also a change in culture; namely, straight edge became associated with violence and authoritarianism instead of self-improvement and self-discipline. This narrative became so overblown in parts of the United States that straight edge became a common headline in mainstream media often being associated with gang violence. In the wake of all this, there was a backlash in the hardcore scene of bands who revitalized traditional hardcore music and mentality. Bands like Floorpunch, In My Eyes, and Ten Yard Fight led a youth crew revival in the United States, and simultaneously on the other side of the continent in Vancouver, British Columbia, Burden did the same.
Burden played a style of hardcore very similar to the other American bands at the time, especially Floorpunch. It could easily be described as “jock hardcore,” which isn’t necessarily a bad thing as Burden channels that masculine energy into great song writing. Whereas many of the Canadian straight edge bands that came before them were drastically different than their peers, often being remembered as influencers, Burden expertly played traditional straight edge hardcore with some heavier leanings. Burden released three EPs including Strength of Conviction and an LP in 2003 entitled If You Don’t Stand for Something, You’ll Fall for Anything.
Burden was Vancouver’s first straight edge band to make a mark outside of Vancouver and probably one of the first to bring a hint of new school hardcore into the local scene. At the time, there really wasn’t much to brag about in the western Canadian hardcore. All the attention was given to Ontario. But Burden was one of the bands who changed that.
Burden’s first demo, “Chosen Path”, came out in 1997, in various pressings and covers. Their first ep “Strength of Conviction” came out in 1999 on Faith, Hope and Charity Records. This ep would be re-released in 2000 by Spawner Records (in Canada) and also as a 7″ record on Bad Man Records (in Europe). This re-issue would contain the demo as bonus tracks. In 1999 the band also had it’s only exclusive song on a compilation, which would be a cover of The Misfits, We Bite.
In 2001, the band would finally come in contact with Dead Serious Recordings, who would release everything from the band forth. The band took two songs from their upcoming LP and one song from their ep, to do a split release with Automatic from Kentucky. Their first and only full length, “If You Don’t Stand for Something, You’ll Fall for Anything”, was released in 2001 on Spawner Records (Canada) and Dead Serious (Europe). This got them to tour western Europe. And the band did tour for the next few years. Upon their final time in Europe, Dead Serious would release the bands final ep “With Every Step Forward”. This would never get to see the light in North America however. The band played a final show on March 13th, 2004 in Vancouver.