Hiya pal, my name is Mark and I shout, skip about and as a result sweat like fuck in Get It Together. We’re a band based in the central belt of Scotland and released our debut LP ‘LIVE FREE’ in April of 2019.
Descendents – Everything Sucks
Buying this record was one of the most significant events in my life. I had been exposed to a lot of the pop-punk bands of the late 1990’s and was thirsty for more. A friend of mine (Ali Merrick, sixpeopleaway) had bought a bootleg copy of blink 182’s ‘The Urethra Chronicles’ and had let me borrow it. In the video Tom Delonge said his favourite band were the Descendents and at that time I was pretty impressionable when it came to anything Tom, Mark & Travis would say (although needless to say not anymore – Angels and Airwaves were pish, Tom’s books were pish and the whole ‘To The Stars’ thing definitely reeks of you guessed it, pish) so I set out on a journey to get some Descendents records.
There was no sign of the Descendents in my hometown of Falkirk, although I did find plenty of Bad Religion, NOFX, Rancid and the likes in Sleeves records, (RIP – I miss you every single day) so I took the train to Avalanche Records in Glasgow and lo and behold I found Milo’s face hiding in the punk section. I clutched that copy of ‘Everything Sucks’ like it was the last one in the world and ran to the cash desk to buy it.
Every aspect of this album is melodic and poppy yet raw and frenetic at the same time and it blew my tiny little mind. I got the album cover along with a dedication to my favourite song from the album ‘Thank You’ tattooed on my shin in December of 2010 and mere days after getting inked they announced they were reuniting for some shows in 2011, I don’t believe in fate but this was definitely serendipitous. I never thought I would ever see them live but I’ve now seen them five times and each time they play ‘Thank You’ I tear up a little. The album and band mean the world to me and both absolutely changed my life for the better.
Kid Dynamite – Kid Dynamite
From the moment ‘Pause’ bursts into your ear drums at breakneck speed until ‘Fuckuturn’ bids you farewell with its middle fingers in the air, this album is a perfect example of a raw, punk rock tinged melodic hardcore record. Just like ‘Everything Sucks’ there’s a story or two attached to this one too.
I had just discovered Strike Anywhere who were also on Jade Tree Records and set about consuming the label’s back catalogue and found Kid Dynamite. They sounded less polished, relentless and jagged in a way I hadn’t heard from similar bands. Virgin Megastore (remember them?) had ordering points in their stores that let you could search for unstocked releases and have them ordered in, so I imported Kid Dynamite’s self-titled album from the US. It is one of only a few released I’ve had to buy twice due to ruining the disc from overplaying.
In another Grandpa Simpson like ramble, Craig (Get It Together) and I hadn’t seen each other for about five years and bumped into each other when Hot Water Music last played Glasgow. After we got a lot of the pleasantries out of the way, we both quickly moved the conversation on to starting a band and I blurted out “DO YOU WANT TO START A BAND THAT SOUNDS LIKE KID DYNAMITE?” We practiced in Craig’s spare room for months listening to KD’s records for inspiration before eventually forming GIT. As a band I think we probably conjure up more comparisons to Dan Yemin from KD’s other band ‘Paint It Black’ but our origin will always come from our shared love of Kid Dynamite.
Dag Nasty – Can I Say
My love of the Descendents took me down the SST Records rabbit hole and I found Black Flag, who made innocent 15 year old Mark feel like a right ‘proper punk’ back in the year 2000 (won’t it be strange when we’re all fully grown?). Black Flag always seemed to be closely associated to Minor Threat so with my pocket money I decided to buy Minor Threat’s Complete Discography, once again thanks to Avalanche Records but this time in its Edinburgh shop. From there I found the Dischord Records rabbit hole, which was a lot deeper than its SST equivalent and before long I found out about Dag Nasty, Government Issue, Embrace, Rites of Spring, Q & Not U and Fugazi.
When I heard ‘Can I Say’ for the first time, Dave Smalley’s voice was the first thing that stood out to me, he seemed to shout rather than sing like the pop-punk vocalists I was used to at the time. It was melodic but carried a lot of power and was laced with passion. Unsurprisingly Dave is who I model my vocal style on despite having a fraction of the talent he does. I can’t say anything about Brian Baker that hasn’t already been said but his influence is all over most of my record collection, he is an incredible songwriter and guitarist. Colin and Roger play no idle part on this record, they hold everything together excellently and drive the songs forward with power and purpose.
Engage from Dundee used to cover ‘1 to 2’ from this record and I would lose my mind every single time I’d hear it. My old band The Fight Back covered it a few times too and on one of those occasions when we played the now demolished Rowing Club in Durham, I swapped my bass for James’ microphone and took the vocals duties for the first time. Just like Descendents and Kid Dynamite, I thought I would never see Dag Nasty. I came close when Down By Law covered ‘Under Your Influence’ in Glasgow years ago (I was that annoying Dag Nasty fanboy who asked Dave for a Dag song – sorry Dave) but eventually good things come to those who wait as they say, I got to see Dag with their original singer Shawn Brown at Groezrock and a week later in Glasgow. As is standard when I see bands I love, I lost my fucking voice for days afterwards. I don’t think I’ll ever get to see Dag with Dave on vocals, but I’m certain that I’ll be listening to ‘Can I Say’ for the rest of my life.
Honourable Mentions: WWE The Music Volume 1 – ALL OF THEM, Bad Religion – No Control, blink-182 – Enema of the State, Green Day – Insomniac, Engage – When Will This End?, American Nightmare – Background Music, Modern Life Is War – Witness, Gorilla Biscuits – Start Today, Rush – Moving Pictures, Belle & Sebastian – Dear Catastrophe Waitress, DIVIDE – When All Else Fails, Stand/HHH split, Van Halen – 1984, The Legacy – We Gave It Everything, Blur – The Great Escape, KISS – Destroyer, Black Flag – My War, Minor Threat – Out of Step, Turtlehead – Bleeding Hearts & Burnouts, Faded Grey – A Quiet Time of Desperation and The Cure – Disintegration.
Get It Together is a melodic hardcore band from the central belt in Scotland. Listen to their album “Live Free” below.