In the winter of 1983, Evil I, a local hardcore punk band consisting of Craig G. (guitar), Craig S. (drums), Dave (bass), and Carol (vocals) entered a basement studio in Elgin, IL to record a handful of original songs. The music they had written was tight yet chaotic, perfectly serving as the backdrop for lyrics that addressed everything from conformity in America to man’s best friend (additional barking provided by Nugget). In just a few hours, they emerged with a demo that was every bit fast, honest, and raw.
Predating many pivotal hardcore and thrash metal offerings of the era, the demo was passed around in small numbers on cassette tapes at the band’s live shows before they ultimately disbanded shortly thereafter. Nearly 40 years later, Chris Gilbert of the Chicago-based Alona’s Dream Records, a label that specializes in overlooked archival releases, stumbled upon a portion of the demo uploaded to Dave’s personal YouTube channel. It wasn’t long before Gilbert reached out to members of the band to discuss giving the recordings a long-overdue, proper physical release. The final outcome is Official Bootleg, a collection of songs that not only serve as documentation of early hardcore in Chicago’s western suburbs but a record that rivals any hardcore and metal bands active in the present day.
This month, Local Chaos will release a retrospective look into the history of Evil I and welcome members of the band for a live in-studio interview. Official Bootleg is available now for digital purchase through Alona’s Dream Records.