Commitment Records was started in July 1995 with
two goals in mind: to be a means to distribute 7" records of small American and
European labels and beginning Straight Edge bands in Europe and to release records
of Straight Edge bands with a positive attitude.
The Straight Edge movement
was at its height in the beginning of the Eighties (1980-1983) and a second boom
took place at the end of the decade (1987-1989) with a lot of new bands, labels
and fanzines. In the beginning of the Nineties the Straight Edge trend was over.
Later in the Nineties a new
style of Straight Edge developed, with bands that were more militant than most of
the bands of the '80's and with a music-style that became more and more influenced
by metal. The attitude of a lot of these socalled 'new school Straight Edge hardcore'-bands
was not positive at all: this was reflected in their lyrics (sometimes really apocalyptical),
the artwork of the records (dark, with a lot of demons and images from the Middle-ages)
and even in the dancing style (violent).
From 1995 on, some new young Straight
Edge bands came up, both in the USA (Halfmast, Envy, Plagued With Rage) and Europe
(Mainstrike, Rectify) that got their inspiration, both musically and lyrically,
from the 80s bands. Inspired by this development Commitment Records was started.
Commitment Records wants to provide an opportunity for new or unknown bands,
who combine the Straight Edge message with a positive attitude, to release (7")
records. As a start (and this policy is still in force in 2013) Commitment Records
is only doing 7"'s records. The 7" is the cheapest format to make (or buy) records,
and that's the reason we think it needs to be supported.
Records considers itself a Straight Edge label and will limit itself to releasing
records by Straight Edge bands, at reasonable prices.
For the people involved
in Commitment Records Straight Edge means more than just not drinking, not smoking
and not using drugs. In our eyes these are just necessary conditions to be able
to strife for the really important things: creating a society, based on mutual respect,
without prejudice, hate and ignorance; working for a world without the big differences
in welfare which exist nowadays, a world where humans, animals and the environment
have priority, and not economic growth and monetary considerations.
is no place for hardline attitudes, racism, sexism, homophobia, nationalism, satanism
and machoism (including violent dancing !) in Straight Edge.
up to now
In 1996 Commitment released its first record, a live-EP of
Youth Of Today , with recordings made during their show in Amsterdam, in
1989. We released this 7" for three reasons. In the first place because we had a
live-recording of Youth Of Today at our disposal, which perfectly captured the atmosphere
existing in the European hardcore scene at the end of the Eighties, at a time when
the Straight Edge scene in Holland, Belgium and Germany was at its peak. In the
second place the ideology of the band Youth Of Today has a lot in common with the
ideology from which Commitment Records was started: Straight Edge, positive thinking
and awareness of the wrongs of this world. In the third place, by releasing a record
of a very popular band, we were able to bring Commitment Records to the attention
of a lot of people.
1997 Commitment Records organized a positive sXe-festival in Amsterdam, and as part
of this festival, a double-7" was released with the 8 bands that played on the festival
(among those By The Grace Of God from the USA, Mainstrike from Holland and Spawn
from Germany). The festival was the first hardcore-show in Holland with a non-smoking
policy and besides that, was a benefit for a refugee aid organisation. The festival
was a big succes - including the bands, more than 200 people visited the festival.
Since the end of 1997, Commitment released 7"'s by a bunch of young sXe-bands
from Holland and Belgium: Oil, Vitamin X, GuidingLine, Soberesponse, X-Men, One
X More, Reaching Forward and Product X.
After a short break, Commitment
Records released three new records in the Summer of 1999: the debut-7" of Kids
Like Us from Norway and new 7"'s by Vitamin X from Amsterdam and One
X More from Belgium.
In the autumn of 1999, these three releases were
followed by two other releases: the "Hit The Line Hard"-compilation featuring
four positive HxC/sXe-bands from Northern Carolina and Atlanta: Reinforce,
Until Today, No Comply and One Way and the new 7" of Product
X from The Netherlands.
The first release in the new Millenium was the
debut-7" of Fairfight, positive sXe-HxC from Utrecht, The Netherlands. Around
the same time, the re-release on The Return Of The X-Men compilation was
also finally done - on one 7" now, featuring different songs of Oil and GuidingLine
and without the Spawn-song. The record starts with an intro by Rob Pennington of
By The Grace Of God. The layout was done by Robin of Oil, and features many
photos taken on the festival.
At the end of the Summer of 2000, the world
wide straight edge compilation, More Than The X On Our Hands, was released.
This compilation, a box set with six 7"'s, contains 41 straight edge band from 41
different countries and a 52-page booklet with a short introduction on the history
straight edge, a comment by Ian MacKaye on the start of straight edge, and lyrics,
bands information, photos, etcetera. This compilation will also be put out on tape
or CD or various other labels all over the world.
In April 2001 Cross
Me, a German-France straight edge band, debuted with their first regular release
on Commitment. Later that year, the debut-7" was released of Fight For Change,
one of the many straight edge bands out of the active Portugese sXe scene.
the first 2 years of the 2nd millenium, the number of releases on Commitment have
not been as numerous as in the last 2 years of the 1st Millenium. But this will
change in 2002. In March, the second 7" of Fairfight was released, and this
was followed in June by the first South American band with a release of its own
on Commitment: Infect from Brazil. This is also in other aspects an unique
record: never before had a Commitment 7" so many songs (13). Besides, the Infect
record is the first record that contains songs that already have been release before
(in Brazil, to be precisely), and Infect is the first Commitment band with female
members (after 5 years, it's about time...). In the second half of 2002 two more
records were released: 7"'s of On A Solid Rock and Pointing Finger.
gave Commitment one release: the debut-7" of North from Rotterdam.
half of 2004 brought two new releases: the compilation "Forever In Our Hearts",
to celebrate the 25th release of Commitment, and 7" by The Age (formerly known as
Second Age) from Poland.
In 2005, Commitment has released three records
in the beginning of January, the debut-7" of The Miracle 7", was released.
The Miracle is a fairly new band from the Milan area, but with people that
have been around for a long time, playing in bands like Fumbles In Life and Shotgun
Foundation. The 7" contains the three songs of the promo they recorded in the Summer
of 2004, and three new songs, that they have been recorded in the autumn of the
same year. Six songs of powerful and heavy old school hardcore, with lyrics that
deal with scene related, personal and political issues.
Second, there was the
third and, unfortunately, final 7" of the Portugese vegan straight edge band Fight
For Change. Due to all kind of misfortunes, it took the band very long to finish
the recording and mixing of the songs of this 7", but the final results are for
sure worth the wait. Fight For Change got the opportunity to record in a
professional studio, as one of their members was working there, and that led to
by far the best produced the stuff the band recorded so far. The 7" contains seven
songs (around 15 minutes of music!) of fast youthcrew hardcore, with lyrics that
reflect on straight edge, the hardcore scene and the larger world in general. The
record is a benefit for the Animal Liberation Front. The 8 page booklet contains
explanations of the lyrics and reflections of the band on the state of the world,
and especially the animal rights issue.
Third, at July the 30th, the debut-7"
of The Silver Shine was released as Commitment # 29. Although the original members
of The Silver Shine have their roots in the Hungarian hardcore scene,
this 7" is in fact the first non-hardcore Commitment
release. The sound of this trio (vocals/guitar, upright bass and drums) can be described
as a mixture of psychobilly and punkabilly, with some hardcore, country and punkrock
influences thrown into the mix for good measure. The lyrics deal with the usual
psychobilly stuff (you know, the same subjects that are handled in classic horror
movies from the 1950s and 1960s), but also with the dangers of the addiction to
drugs - which reflects the straight edge lifestyle of all members of the band. The
record is a benefit for a local group that helps addicted people to give up their
addiction and start a new life.
On October, 24, 2006, two new Commitment
releases have seen the light of day. First, the long awaited new record of Malaysian
youthcrew straight edge veterans Second Combat. Six songs of old school straight
edge hardcore, with an original twist. Second, the debut 7" of When Seasons Change
from Italy. When Seasons Change started in 2004 as Nothing To Hide and changed their
name in 2005 to When Seasons Change. After two demo's (one as Nothing To Hide and
one as When Seasons Change) their first official release is out: a six song EP on
2007 was a very active year for Commitment, with 4 new releases.
The first was the debut 7" of Hamburg's positive straight edgers Hoods Up, that
was released on March, 2nd, 2007 and presented on the annual Light The Fuse fest
in Hengelo, The Netherlands, one day later. The record sold out of it's initial
pressing of 500 pieces in two months. The second was the debut-7" of Up
Rights, a straight edge band from Toulouse, France. Up Rights is not exactly new
on the scene, as they played their first show in October 1996, being formed that
same year after the break-up of Conform Choice. Mainly inspired by the late 1990s
wave of European straight edge bands, Up Rights play fast, energetic and melodic
old school hardcore and couple it with a message of drugfree pride and positivity,
while taking a stand against the evils of today's hardcore scene, like
violent attitudes, fashion slavery and MySpace addicts. The third was the debut-7"
of Turn The Tide. Turn The Tide started out as a project in October 2006, when people
involved in several other Finish hardcore bands, decided it was time for a straight
edge band playing traditional hardcore in Finland again, as such a band had been
lacking since the breakup of On A Solid Rock. Although Turn The Tide take the inspiration
for their sound clearly from the classic youthcrew bands, their sound also contains
elements of melodic punkrock and even classic rock, with raw production adding an
extra sting. Shouted by a voice that sometimes brings Ian MacKaye to mind, the lyrics
on their debut-7" are reflections of everyday life and relations with
other people: greed, love, self-confidence and personal choices and growth. The
fourth, released just before Christmas, was the debut-7" Resolve, a five-piece straight
edge band from the St. Louis, MO-area, that plays pure late 1980s youthcrew hardcore,
in the classic style that bands like Youth Of Today and Turning Point made big.
The songs are fast, energetic full of catchy singalongs and deal with life from
a positive perspective. Lyrics about the meat industry, the power of oil corporations
in the USA, intelligent design, but also about being different and making a positive
change, shows Resolve that the band has some importants thoughts to share.
brought new releases of Birds Of A Feather (5 song 7"), Take Control (6 song 7")
and F.P.O. (6 song 7"). In 2009, the Currahee 7" was released.
2010 was a very
quiet year for Commitment, with no new releases. 2011 was a far more active
with new releases of Critical Point from Portugal, a new 7" by Currahee from the
UK and a EP from It's Now from Mexico, the second Latin American band on Commitment!
2012, the year the world as we know it was supposed to end (but it didn't, as we now know), Commitment
released a three way split with bands from 3 different contigents: Currahee (UK), Truth Aside
(Florida, USA) and Unforce (The Philippines). Later that year, Commitment also released the
'Better Measures' EP tape of Buffalo, NY straight edge band Better Times as a 7". 2013 has
brought two new Commitment releases so far. The first is also the first time that a Commitment release
is a co-release with other labels - with two labels of very good friends of me: Refuse Records and
Ugly And Proud Records. Together we released the debut 7" of political vegan straight edge band
Spiknykter from Sweden. 10 songs with a sound that mixes the typical 80s swedish hardcore sound and
more traditional fast hardcore. Also in May 2013, the debut 7" of Orange County straight edge band Kid
Armor was released on Commitment.
1999 Commitment Asia was started to give the people in Asia the opportunity
to come into contact with the Commitment-bands without having to pay loads of money.
Commitment Asia was run by XBoyX, singer of the Malaysian old school band Disaster
Funhouse, who also did Unquestionable Distro/Zine. First release on Commitment
Asia was a tape with all recordings of Vitamin X from the period 1997-1999. After this
release, Commitment Asia became inactive.
In 2012, Deden of Indonesian straight edge band Hooded, put new life in Commitment Asia. He will distribute
the Commitment releases in Asia, and will put out tapes of South East Asian and other straight edge bands on
Commitment Asia. Tapes of Unforce, Stay On, Second Combat, Currahee and Quest For Justice have been released or will
be released soon. Check out the Facebook page of Commitment Asia at:
Commitment Records (Asia)
In 2011, Mike, drummer of Currahee, started Commitment Records UK. First, to distribute the Commitment releases
in the United Kingdom, later Mike also started to put out split-tapes of international straight edge
bands, like Eisberg, Better Times, Iron Curtain and Beware. Commitment Records UK can also be found on Facebook:
Commitment Records (UK)
Commitment Records can be contacted at:
1689 TG Zwaag