In honor of the greatness of a Festival that brings so much joy to so many, I’m compiling a short list of recent band reunions announced at Furnace Fest 2023. This Fest has had a tumultuous past couple of years in light of the horrors and inconveniences Covid has brought to so many and yet persevered to cobble together an insane experience and an ongoing commitment to quality and fan adoration. While I haven’t been able to attend in either the past or more recently, I’m there in spirit. My younger, skinnier, and more naive “Avatar” is prepared to walk those grounds with me behind my PC, watching from a distance. A hardcore punk SIMS game sounds wickedly fun that’ll put you right in the middle of the fest but like with wifi and chip pieces smeared all over the chest and sort of that grease stained pair of glassed slipping down the nose. The honest truth is that I’ll probably never go due to personal things here at home in Orange County, California that anchors me to the dirt, but that hasn’t stopped me from enjoying all the instagram clips both from the bands and Furnace Fest themselves and living through the eyes of some IVM friends and people I’ve met over the years. Their enthusiasm fuels my nostalgia drive. So with that said, let’s list a couple of recent reunion announcements below then you can discuss your excitement, what songs you want to hear, and a desire to see more reunions of certain bands in the comments below.
This is a very very short list of some big band reunions that many old (and new) fans will appreciate.
1. Ninety Pound Wuss
The gritty and yet critically acclaimed hardcore/punk band from the upper North West part of the West Coast, are here to slay once more. The band released a discography of full lengths over the years starting with the great “Self Titled” album in 1996 through Tooth & Nail Records. Each album was different from the last and no consistent formulaic style that you could pin on them. Genre labeling, forget about it (in my best mob voice). The band will reunite on stage at Furnace Fest 2023 this year and I’m sure everyone is in for a real treat because like their music, they are completely unpredictable. Say hi to Jeff for me. Even though I have the “Self Titled” album on Vinyl, it couldn’t hurt to own another Ninety Pound Wuss album on that format. Tell UnoriginalVinyl and Tooth & Nail Records that you can’t wait to order it soon and that you are excited for all their vinyl re-releases of those early Tooth & Nail titles from the beginning to 1999. It’s happening, right? Maybe it was just that vivid dream last night where I woke up with drool and elation but didn’t know why. In my case it was probably a mix of that and a feeling of agitation upon waking and fearing my Vinyl was sitting outside again in the rain, next to the mailbox. Did I say how much I dislike certain United States Postal Workers? A lot of gifts over Christmas got soaked outside and I forgot to check the mailbox for a day, so bye bye packages. California rain makes people nuts. Run, hide, throw your hands in the air and repeat the cycle while running around and around in a circle on loop. Let’s talk about an over abundance of wet weather to our friends in Oregon and Washington then drop the mic and watch Ninety Pound Wuss pick it up and throw it at our heads. Hey, it comes full circle. Oh and whatever happened to the “El Nino” weather pattern because 90’s, I haven’t forgotten you. Yes, nostalgia lives on even in California rain. Something Must Break.
2. A Plea for Purging
Speaking of getting mics tossed in your face, how about some heavy metalcore meant to raise my blood pressure and keep me not on the edge of my seat, but on the verge of a heart attack. I won’t fault you PLEA, I’m angrier about this Covid virus than I am about getting pumped up with obliterating metalcore. This band made some truly HEAVY albums, a mix of rage and question seeking. Facedown Records knew what they were doing when they signed them and released their albums. Hopefully Jason Dunn and the rest of Facedown will go out to Furnace Fest 2023 and bring some limited edition, one of kind merch and show everyone that you can’t keep a good label down. Isn’t it incredible that Facedown Records kept a small team together and has continued to run the label much the same way for more than 20 years now. In my line of work we call it “lean manufacturing” in their case I guess we call it consistently awesome! So let’s hear it for A Plea For Purging and a big high five for Facedown Records. They may or may not be simultaneously connected but the nostalgia runs deep, and memories will conquer all.
3. Blessed By a Broken Heart
What started out as a small time glam rock focused metalcore band and lots of solos and a better handle on the singing than the screaming. “Pedal to Metal” was better than the one before it but “Feel The Power” brings on the feels and all that old school nostalgia flows right back complete with head banging intensity and sing-a-long dynamics. Tony Gambino and the guys are coming back hard this year with a slightly revamped lineup because Sam Ryder has become an epic solo artist who made a comeback himself last year as part of the Euro Vision contest. You can currently listen to Sam Ryder’s brand new full length “There’s Nothing But Space, Man” that is creating a huge buzz in Europe and beginning to make waves here. So yeah, I think he’s a little busy. This new lineup featuring some familiar faces including Tony himself stepping up to the mic again, will play Furnace Fest 2023. No word yet on new songs but I believe I’ve seen some hints of studio work here and there. Could just be practive sessions? I would love another album and a perfect continuation of “Feel The Power”.
So those are just the first 3 I’ve noticed of a few long retired bands that many music fans miss. These Fest organizers are great at building hype and since this is just January, expect many more announcements to come. My personal excitement will be amplified by a few long out of circulation bands listed in my “Most Wanted Band Reunions of 2023” seen here. There are a lot of surprising folk who drop by Indie Vision Music website every now and then and by shares and mentions of that article, I’ve stirred the pot. Let’s all hope for some more once in a lifetime Reunions in 2023. I know Tim Mann of Focused would love to play this fest, so you hear that Furnace Fest friends???