Go It Alone

To put it simply, Go It Alone is one of my favorite bands of all time.  They put painstaking detail into every single release and live performance that they ever did, and it showed.  To be able to work with one of my oldest hardcore friends, Lucas McFadden (GIA drummer), on so many releases was a really special thing that made Rivalry Records feel like family.  It forever bonded me and my friends in California to that entire group of dudes from Vancouver, BC.  There’s also photos of some GIA related bands like Reserve 34, Keep It Clear, and Devotion.

Despite this band being very important to me, what you’ll see here is primarily just photos. Refer to the Rivalry Records entry for my reasons behind not including lengthy stories or pressing info for all of the Rivalry stuff…

Go It Alone – “Hollywood North” Demo cassette tapeGo It Alone started out as just a project between two friends, Lucas and Mark.  The demo cassette came with different color paper inserts…

Another view.

Go It Alone – “Vancouver Gold” 7″The 7″ was released on Straight On Records.  Later when Rivalry Records was releasing “The Only Blood Between Us” LP, we re-pressed the “Vancouver Gold” CD on Rivalry, but we  never re-pressed it on vinyl.

There are only 10 of these test pressings, and it’s basically impossible to find because all of the original people involved have kept their copies.  I was lucky enough to get mine in a trade from Donny who helped out with Straight On.

Record release edition.

A closer look.

The back cover of the record release, numbered #19/50.

This limited cover was sold at “JAMuary Fest” in Redondo Beach, CA.  I think they only did the “Jamuary” show one time, and it was basically the “Sink With Cali Fest” of the winter time.  It was done by the same people, at the same place in Redondo.

The inside of the JAMuary cover is labeled “ebay gold #54/70”.  Get it?

Here’s the clear vinyl again, this time with regular cover. There were 150 total on clear – 100 with regular cover, 50 with record release cover.  This one is #16/100.

The entire 2nd pressing was red vinyl mixed with white vinyl.  This creates mostly pink vinyl, but there are some red marble copies as well.  I just noticed that for some reason the label art changed on the 2nd pressing.  Not totally sure why they did that.

This layout is flawless.  Scott Magrath did an awesome job on it.  I love all the photos and the metallic gold ink.  I always like it when a band is heavily influenced by their geography, and this layout shows how the various sides of Vancouver have helped shaped the members of GIA.

Such a classic band photo.  Love this.  Love these dudes.

This was a cool screen printed poster that GIA made during the “Vancouver Gold” era, after they had decided to release their LP with us on Rivalry.  You can tell it’s done in the same style as their record release cover (screen printed red lettering).

Go It Alone – “Seveninch” 7″This one-sided 7″ was given away free to anyone that pre-ordered the re-release of the “Vancouver Gold” CD on Rivalry.  It also served as a 7″ single for “The Only Blood Between Us” LP.  It features 2 songs off the LP, as well as a rare GIA track that was only released on the “Lookout Below: A Northwest Hardcore Compilation” on Perfect Victim Records. 

Test pressing covers have an alternate colorway of the GIA cobra design. Zach Harlan made all of the Rivalry test pressing covers, including this one.  They all have the same format, back-flap, and hand numbering.

The b-side of the clear vinyl is screen printed with a cobra drawing, which was originally done by Linas Garsys for a GIA t-shirt design.  This 2 color screenprint was done by my buddy Ryan Mattos (you know him as Toast).  I remember going over to his house and seeing all of these damned 7″s laying everywhere while they were drying… They looked awesome.

The layout is just one 7.5″ piece of cardstock, printed front and back.  There is no fold-over or glue pocket cover.  The band wanted something really stark and simple.

Here’s the GIA cobra design on a t-shirt.

V/A – “Lookout Below: A Northwest Hardcore Compilation” 7″My friend Mike Melillo released this 7″ compilation on Perfect Victim Records.  It featured 2 bands from Vancouver, and 2 bands from Seattle… Go It Alone, Blue Monday, Rosary, and The Answer.  I re-released the GIA song, “Ten Percent”, from this 7″ comp on the GIA “Seveninch” (or “cobra”) 7″ single.  Rosary never put out anything else, but they were a cool Seattle band that Lucas played drums in.  I think there were other colors of this 7″ as well, at least black vinyl. 

The inside layout of the NW comp 7″.

Go It Alone – “The Only Blood Between Us” LPRivalry #14 was a big deal for us.  It came out along with Rivalry #12, Allegiance “Overlooked” LP, and it made the Summer of 2005 a really exciting time for Rivalry.  To put it simply, Go It Alone is one of my favorite bands of all time.  They put painstaking detail into every single release and live performance that they ever did, and it showed.  To be able to work with one of my oldest hardcore friends, Lucas McFadden (GIA drummer), on so many releases was a really special thing that made Rivalry Records feel like family.  It forever bonded me and my friends in California to that entire group of dudes from Vancouver, BC.

Test Pressing

The record release edition is a cool black-on-black screen printed cover.   It comes with an acetate lyric sheet and a funny insert of Graham looking grizzled.

A closer look.

Hook wanted to make an appearance on my blog.  For some reason he chose to do it by head butting Graham.  Hooky for president.

The back of the record release is numbered out of 78.

The distinct vinyl colors.  I dig that black/white/grey colorway.

The 2nd pressing clear vinyl copies have a “II” on the b-side label, along with a bunch of blank white label copies that were stamped for various tours.

The “II” on the b-side label of the 2nd pressing.

The first Euro Tour stamp.  They didn’t end up stamping all 300 of them, so there were more white label copies left over to use for other tours…

The U.S. Tour stamp.

The second Euro Tour stamp.  This time it also came with a screenprinted cover.  GIA waited to label the records until they reached each venue.  So each stamp means that the record was bought at that specific show on the tour.  This one was my favorite – the “New Casino” in Paris on June 25th, 2006.

Here’s a better look at the Euro Tour 2006 cover.

The layout, featuring stark photography and metallic silver ink.  I like that they continued the metallic ink theme (“Vancouver Gold” had metallic gold ink).  I also like the fact that this LP looks like a crust record or something, instead of a more typical modern hardcore layout.  GIA was always very specific about how they wanted their records to look, and Scott Magrath did an awesome job executing on that.

Promo poster

Someone emailed me this photo of the Rivalry promo posters for the Allegiance and Go It Alone full lengths hanging up in a store in Europe. This was a big deal for us. It blew our minds that our posters were hanging in a record store halfway across the world next to an Elton John poster! Stuff like this always made all of the hard work worth it.

Also a shot of the GIA CD for sale in a European record store as a featured end-cap!

Promo poster for the GIA / Allegiance Euro Tour.

Fliers for a show on the GIA / Allegiance Euro Tour.

GIA / Allegiance crew pic at the end of the Euro Tour.

A ridiculous staged “promo photo” on the GIA / Allegiance Euro Tour. If you know anything about the GIA guys, you know this “tough guy” photo was obviously done tongue-in-cheek. There were all sorts of versions of this photo, some with Lucas and John Eightclip from Allegiance posing hard too. The dudes were obviously screwing around one night after the show…

A random flier/poster for the Warsaw, Poland show on another GIA Euro tour, this time with Blue Monday.   “Warsaw Mosh Day!”

Allegiance, Go It Alone, Blue Monday. Somewhere on a U.S. Tour.

Go It Alone / Blue Monday – “Split” 7″Rivalry #17.  This split, featuring exclusive new songs by both bands, came out along with the Champion / Betrayed split 7″ for Rivalry Showcase 2006.  All four bands played the show at the Petaluma Theatre in Petaluma, CA.  There was also a DVD made with live footage from this show.

Test pressing cover features a photo of both bands’ members, plus Matt Smith (as always).

Record release cover with acetate insert.

The back of the record release cover has the date of the show, April 15th, 2006.

The distinct vinyl colors.

“Rain drop vinyl” to match the rain drops on the cover art.  I love how this turned out.

I kept a few copies of the blue/orange swirl because I thought the different variants looked kind of cool.  It looks like Mark is exploding out of the center of the top one.

Blue Monday made these for their final West Coast tour.

A close up.

The back cover is numbered out of 20 on the red covers, and 30 on the white covers (50 copies total).  I don’t know why they made the 2 different colors.

The “II” on the labels of the 2nd pressing white vinyl.

The layout.  I love the photo on the cover of this 7″, depicting GIA and Blue Monday’s hometown of “Rain City”.

This is a cool GIA / Have Heart poster that hangs on the wall in my home.

Go It Alone – “Histories” LPRivalry #23

Test Pressing

The record release had a special stamp on the labels, but no special cover or anything.

Red vinyl was the only real “color”, other than black and white vinyl.  It’s also the most limited color, pretty much only given to friends.

The distinct colors pressed.

1st pressing white vinyl.

2nd pressing white vinyl has the usual “II” on the b-side labels like almost all Rivalry releases have.  But for this release it was kind of weird, because the layout design already had “I” and “II” to denote A and B side labels.  I didn’t want to break the continuity, so I just went ahead and did it on this release too.  So the 2nd pressing white vinyl has an extra “II” on the right side.

Labels stamped for Sound And Fury 2007.

We pressed some white vinyl copies with blank labels to be stamped for a European Tour.  But I just realized that I never got a copy of the Euro Tour edition for “Histories”, so I can’t take a photo of it!!  If you have one, hook me up! haha.  Anyway, a couple of years later, I found a few blank label copies in my garage mixed in with some of the regular GIA 2nd pressing.  I sold them online and at a couple of shows.  These ones have completely blank labels with no stamp.

The full gatefold layout.  Fucking epic.  This thing is so sick.

The front and back of the insert.

I made extra inserts and used them as promo posters.

I would be remiss if I didn’t give a nod here to the “For The Sake Of Dedication” LP compilation, released by Crucial Response Records in the late 90’s, featuring the best of European hardcore of the time (along with Ten Yard Fight and Floorpunch).  The GIA guys love the music, aesthetic, and everything that this comp represented in the late 1990’s.  Their “Histories” LP layout was definitely done, well, for the sake of dedication to this compilation.  In fact, if you look closely at the lyric sheet for the Histories LP, you’ll see this written under the band’s street address: “NOITA CI DEDFOEK ASEHTR OF”.  Read it backwards….

Go It Alone – “Histories Single” 7″The “Histories Single” 7″ was released a couple of months prior to the “Histories” LP.  It featured one song from the “Histories” LP (“Love”), plus 2 exclusive songs that never appeared anywhere else, “Beacon” and “Histories”.  I always thought it was weird that the title track “Histories” was on the single only, and not on the actual LP.  But either way, I do think it’s awesome that these 2 songs did not appear anywhere else, unlike most 7″ “singles” that you see around today.

Sound And Fury stamped dust sleeve.

“II” on the b-side label of the 2nd pressing.

I’ve always really loved the photo used in this layout.  For me it’s a powerful statement of solidarity.  It’s also a very fitting image to go along with the song title, “Beacon”.  The layout was just the front-and-back of a 7.5″ piece of cardstock, with no fold-over or glue pocket… Very simple.

A hand-numbered, screen-printed poster that was sold at the last GIA show.  The numbering is in pencil in the lower right hand corner.  This one is #45/200.

This is the flier/poster for the last GIA show that was hung up around Vancouver.

The band put together a zine for their last show, entitled “Closure”.  I thought this was the perfect touch for the end of a band that was very important to me and my friends.  It is primarily a story told in photos from the beginning to the end of the band, but does have a little bit of written reflection.  It’s a thick stapled newsprint zine, with a lot of pages.  Very well done.

Go It Alone Retrospective


Members of Allegiance discussing the importance of Go It Alone to the Rivalry family. This was included as bonus footage on the Rivalry Showcase 2007 DVD. Click above to watch, or watch on Vimeo for a larger version.

Go It Alone Interview


Here’s an old GIA interview filmed at 924 Gilman St. in Berkeley, CA. It appeared on one of the Rivalry Showcase DVD’s. Click above to watch, or watch on YouTube for a larger version.

V/A – “Generations” LP Compilation“Generations” features songs representing some of the best bands from this era of hardcore, including a Go It Alone track. My buddy, Bob Shedd, put together this compilation when he was handling most of the label duties at Revelation Records.  He did such a sweet job, all the way down to patterning the layout after the original “NYHC: The Way It Is” LP comp.  Like any classic compilation should, it accurately documents a snapshot in time of a particular generation of hardcore kids.  What you see here is a test pressing plus a blue vinyl copy.  There was also red vinyl pressed.

Cover and insert.

The back of the cover and insert.

Shirts
GIA did a series of white shirts with a really clean looking design: a large live photo in grey on the front and “Go It Alone” printed really small between the shoulder blades on the back. They did one design for each band member. This was the first and most classic one… Ace (Eric Wallace) jumping.

Mark

Lucas

Brad

Go It Alone related releases…

Reserve 34Reserve 34 is the band that started it all for this group of friends playing music together in Vancouver.  In fact, Go It Alone and Blue Monday each covered a Reserve 34 song on their split 7″ on Rivalry Records.  Reserve 34 featured members of GIA and Blue Monday, plus Vancouver’s epic roadie/friendie extraordinaire, Matt Smith, on vocals.  The photo above shows 2 different Reserve 34 EP’s.  I owned a test pressing of the “s/t” 7″ (top), out of only 3 copies in existence, but I sold it a while back.  I also used to own a test pressing of the Reserve 34 “Rain City Games” 10″ that was released nearly 10 years later in the late 2000’s, but I already sold it.  The 10″ featured every Reserve song ever recorded.

Here’s the test pressing of the “s/t” Reserve 34 7″, out of only 3 copies!

The inside of the “s/t” 7″.

The last show version of the “Game Over” EP.

The back cover of the “Game Over” EP.

A closer look at the back cover, as well as the hand-numbered “band member pressing” labels.  You can see that each band member had 20 copies… This is #6/20 of Lucas’s copies.

Here’s the reverse side of the labels.  34rpm instead of 33rpm, get it?

A note written by Lucas about the importance of Reserve 34 to his development…

WeightLucas singing over heavy, distressed hardcore.  This shit is awesome.  I always tried to get Lucas to release this and/or record more.  But he said that this was just a small project for him, and he wanted to keep it that way.  The only physical copies of this recording are cassette demos.  It’s good shit!

Keep It ClearRight after (or near the end?) of Go It Alone, Mark and Lucas teamed up with some friends in Vancouver to put together a demo of straight ahead Floorpunch-esque hardcore.  Neither Mark nor Lucas continued in the band for very long, since both moved away from Vancouver.  But their imprint is there on the demo tape, as well as the “s/t” 7″, which was self-released by Mark.

The “s/t” 7″, self-released by Mark Palm.  The top copy is the record release, the bottom copy is the regular version.

The record release has a cool insert showing Andy’s straight edge jacket.

Close-up of the record release cover.

The layout of the regular cover.  It has a stark black and white layout, with a cool slip sleeve with the band name printed on it.  I dig the black dust sleeve – a very nice touch to bring everything together.  Mark has a way of paying attention to each and every detail, and it shows in all of his work, no matter what.

Close-up of the cover. “Drugs: A great way to get away from it all.” Gnarly.

The insert.

The inside of the 7″ is dope… Printed 100% black.

There was also a European pressing of the Keep It Clear 7″ on Not Just Words Records.  Looks like the Euro version didn’t have the slip sleeve on the cover.  The first pressing was orange, green, and black vinyl. I’m not sure if there were other colors.

Green vinyl.

Test pressing of the Euro pressing on NJW Records.

DevotionAfter Go It Alone, Mark put his efforts into writing all the music and vocals for a new rockin’ project called Devotion.  He recruited Aaron O’Neil (Lights Out) to play drums on the recording, while Mark handled everything else himself.  I liked what he was doing, so we talked and decided to co-release the Devotion LP on Rivalry.  Mark self-released the CD, and I released the vinyl on Rivalry.  Originally Devotion was just a studio project that couldn’t really play live with only 2 members.  But eventually Mark and Aaron recruited other members, and have taken the show on the road!

Test pressing.  This photo of Mark with all the amps is so dope – I had to use it for the test pressing cover!

A closer look at the photo.

Test pressing labels.

Layout

Devotion


John Eightclip made this promo video for the Devotion project. Click above to watch, or watch on Vimeo for a larger version.

My Go It Alone collection, at its peak:

  • Go It Alone – “Hollywood North” Demo cassette tape
  • Go It Alone – Vancouver Gold (TEST PRESS, #10/10)
  • Go It Alone – Vancouver Gold (CLEAR, 10-25-03 rec release cover, #19/50)
  • Go It Alone – Vancouver Gold (CLEAR, regular cover, #16/100)
  • Go It Alone – Vancouver Gold (GOLD, w/train tracks cover, made for JAMuary 1st fest, #’d 54/70, says “ebay gold” on inside cover)
  • Go It Alone – Vancouver Gold (GOLD)
  • Go It Alone – Vancouver Gold (SOLID RED, 2nd press)
  • Go It Alone – Vancouver Gold (PINK, 2nd press, They were all supposed to be SOLID RED but almost all came out some shade of PINK because of the WHITE mixed with the RED)
  • Go It Alone – Seven Inch Single (TEST PRESS, #1/15)
  • Go It Alone – Seven Inch Single (CLEAR, silk screened Cobra, out of 100)
  • Go It Alone – Seven Inch Single (BLACK, out of 400)
  • Go It Alone – Histories 7″ (TEST PRESS, #1/20)
  • Go It Alone – Histories 7″ (PURPLE, 1st press, out of 155)
  • Go It Alone – Histories 7″ (BLACK, 1st press, out of 875)
  • Go It Alone – Histories 7″ (GREEN, 2nd press, out of 210)
  • Go It Alone – Histories 7″ (BLACK, 2nd press, Sound & Fury 2007 stamp, #1/110)
  • Go It Alone – Histories 7″ (BLACK, 2nd press, w/”II” b-side label, out of 805)
  • Go It Alone / Blue Monday – Split (TEST PRESS, #1/24)
  • Go It Alone / Blue Monday – Split (WHITE, Rec Release 4/15/06 cover, out of 50)
  • Go It Alone / Blue Monday – Split (BLUE/ORANGE SWIRL, Blue Monday color @ RVL Showcase #3 Rec Release, out of 135)
  • Go It Alone / Blue Monday – Split (BLUE w/BLUE SPLATTER, Go It Alone color @ RVL Showcase #3 Rec Release, out of 135)
  • Go It Alone / Blue Monday – Split (BLUE/BLACK SWIRL, out of 270)
  • Go It Alone / Blue Monday – Split (WHITE, 1st press, out of 1030)
  • Go It Alone / Blue Monday – Split (WHITE, 1st press, RED Goodbye Blue Monday cover, #8/20)
  • Go It Alone / Blue Monday – Split (WHITE, 1st press, WHITE Goodbye Blue Monday cover, #15/30)
  • Go It Alone / Blue Monday – Split (WHITE, 2nd press, II b-side label, out of 1525)
  • Go It Alone – The Only Blood… (TEST PRESS, #1/15)
  • Go It Alone – The Only Blood… (CLEAR, Record Release cover, #55/78)
  • Go It Alone – The Only Blood… (GREY, out of 160)
  • Go It Alone – The Only Blood… (WHITE/GREY/BLACK, Posi Fest 2005, out of 210)
  • Go It Alone – The Only Blood… (CLEAR, 1st press, out of 562)
  • Go It Alone – The Only Blood… (CLEAR, 2nd press w/”II” on b-side, out of 420)
  • Go It Alone – The Only Blood… (CLEAR, 2nd press, blank labels, Euro Tour 2005, #187/300, actually out of only 200)
  • Go It Alone – The Only Blood… (CLEAR, 2nd press, blank labels, May 2006 Tour #1/100)
  • Go It Alone – The Only Blood… (CLEAR, 2nd press, blank labels, Europe Tour 2006 cover, hand written 25.06.06 Paris, France Noveau Casino)
  • Go It Alone – Histories (TEST PRESS, #1/20)
  • Go It Alone – Histories (WHITE, Record Release 30.06.2007, #2/70)
  • Go It Alone – Histories (RED, Friends press, out of 105)
  • Go It Alone – Histories (BLACK, out of 210)
  • Go It Alone – Histories (WHITE, 1st press, out of 720)
  • Go It Alone – Histories (WHITE, 2nd press, Sound And Fury stamp,  #1/110)
  • Go It Alone – Histories (WHITE, 2nd press, w/”II” b-side label, out of 710)
  • Go It Alone – Histories (WHITE, 2nd press, totally blank white labels, out of 45)
  • MISSING: Euro Tour stamp!
  • V/A – Look Out Below NW Hardcore Comp 7″ (WHITE, Go It Alone, Blue Monday, The Answer, Rosary)
  • V/A – Generations LP (TEST PRESS)
  • V/A – Generations LP (BLUE, Revelation Records, out of 550)
  • Reserve 34 – s/t (TEST PRESS, out of 3)
  • Reserve 34 – s/t (WHITE)
  • Reserve 34 – Game Over EP (WHITE, Last Show 04/27/02 cover w/letter from Lucas, Band Member pressing Luke version #6/20)
  • Reserve 34 – Rain City Games 10″ (TEST PRESS)
  • Weight – Demo 07 cassette tape
  • Keep It Clear – Demo 2007 cassette tape
  • Keep It Clear – s/t (CLEAR, Record Release cover 03.23.2009, out of 62)
  • Keep It Clear – s/t (BLACK, out of 400)
  • Keep It Clear – s/t (TEST PRESS, #14/21, Not Just Words Records, Euro version)
  • Keep It Clear – s/t (ORANGE, Not Just Words Records, Euro version)
  • Keep It Clear – s/t (GREEN, Not Just Words Records, Euro version)
  • Devotion – Bastard Son Of Affluence Blues (TEST PRESS, out of 12)
  • Devotion – Bastard Son Of Affluence Blues (BLACK, out of 1100)
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One Response to Go It Alone

  1. Led says:

    Such an awesome read dude! Do you know any webstore/s that still sells GIA shirts?
    Thank you!

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