Seattle, Washington’s REGIONAL JUSTICE CENTER are releasing their debut full-length, World of Inconvenience, this Friday, June 15th, on To Live A Lie Records and Forever Never Ends in the US, and Adagio830 and Straight and Alert Records in the UK/EU (pre-order here). The brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Ian Shelton, Regional Justice Center was started to chronicle the frustration of watching his brother’s experience in the Washington state prison system, as well as the corruption and callousness of controlling forces in our everyday lives. Revolver praised World of Inconvenience, calling it, “completely fierce and to the point… a middle finger to the system in its purest form, ready to spit back at those in power.”
Regional Justice Center is a band that’s almost inextricable from its challenging origins. In 2016 Shelton’s younger brother, Max, began what would become a year and a half long sentencing process at Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent, Washington. As Shelton puts it, “He was 18 years old, got caught up in small town drug politics, was at the wrong place at the wrong time, and got himself into a violent situation.” As Shelton visited his brother he would soon become all too familiar with the flaws of the state prison system; witnessing situations that ranged from callous to full on exploitive of prisoners and their families. He began to channel is frustration into music and Regional Justice Center was formed. Now on World of Inconvenience, Shelton’s guttural roar calls out these unquestioned systems and seeks to provide a perspective that is so rarely seen–even utilizing recordings of conversations with his brother–all housed within twelve minutes of explosive hardcore that’s almost as crushing as the story behind the album.
Regional Justice Center is on tour now, see full itinerary below.
June 15 – Portland, OR @ Black Water *
June 16 – Seattle, WA @ Black Lodge *
August 4-5 -Olympia Hardcore Fest #
August 7 – Vancouver, BC @ 333 #
August 8 – Kamloops, BC @ TBA #
August 9 – Edmonton, AB @ The Aviary #
August 10 – Calgary, AB @ Commons Church #
August 11 – Spokane, WA @ Charlotte House #
* w/ Harness
# w/ Ingrown
More about the band:
Regional Justice Center is the brainchild of Ian Shelton, but the band’s origins truly lie with Ian’s little brother, Max. In August of 2016, Max was sent to Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent, Washington to start what would become a year and a half long sentencing process. As Ian puts it, “He was 18 years old, got caught up in small town drug politics, was at the wrong place at the wrong time, and got himself into a violent situation.” This event would not only change Max’s life, but the lives of his entire family as well.
Ian would frequently visit Max as he awaited sentencing at Maleng, and soon he started to notice patterns of exploitation and apathy. Whether it was in interacting with callous corrections officers and inadequate public defenders, paying $15 for every call to Max (to a phone company in a profit sharing model with the sheriff and prison), or even watching as small town bureaucracy, senseless legal technicalities, and botched witness testimony all led to the state making a harsh example out of his brother—Ian found himself more and more frustrated and disenfranchised with the entire prison system. Ian says, “prisoner advocacy is pretty voiceless because it’s advocating for people that no one wants to think about anymore, but those people still have rights. And more often than not their families are the ones getting f-cked by the system. There’s a lot of people involved who are very vulnerable to being taken advantage of.”
On the drives to and from Seattle to Kent, Ian started to form the basis a band that could not only serve as an outlet for his anger over his brother’s situation, but also provide a means of still having Max involved with his music. Regional Justice Center began to take shape. A multi-instrumentalist, Ian played drums, bass, guitar, and provided vocals on the band’s demo. Soon after, Ian began taking RJC’s visceral amalgam of explosive powerviolence speed and crushing hardcore stomp on the road, enlisting a revolving door of talented friends from the Northwest hardcore scene to fill out the lineup and help him realize RJC in the live setting. All the while he kept visiting Max, and Maleng remained a constant source of rage.
As Ian started work on what would become World of Inconvenience, he decided he wanted to take Max’s involvement to a more literal level. He began recording conversations with Max, short snapshots of his brother’s life in Maleng that would become interludes on the record. Shortly before the album’s completion Max would be sentenced to 72 months of incarceration and World of Inconvenience would become more than just another hardcore record, it would be a document of Max’s life course being altered forever. As Ian puts it, “we have the same upbringing but ended up in totally different situations. This world just isn’t set up to allow you to get out of your own way, even when you think you’re free you’re still trapped inside these systems.” The resulting album is a punishing twelve minutes of vicious riffs, feedback squalls, and Ian’s guttural roar lashing out at those unquestioned systems—all with Max’s voice as a haunting presence throughout. World of Inconvenience is an album of true pain and aggression, but at its core there are two siblings, and as Ian says, “I wish it was under different circumstances but I’m proud to finally be on a record with my brother.”