Eric Ozenne (aka Sheric D.) was the voice in 3 seminal Cali hardcore punk groups: Unit Pride (1986-1989), Redemption 87 (1995-1998) and The Nerve Agents (1998-2002) each one with its own characteristics. Later in 2007 he also sang in a new project named Said Radio.
I was first introduced to his work in The Nerve Agents – S/T, released in 1998 by Revelation Records, to most old schoolers, Nerve’s best record. Then, not much after, I found out about the other two bands.
UNIT PRIDE is full of classic tunes and represented the Bay Area Youth Crew in the late 80’s, fronted by young Eric and co-founded by guitarist Tim Monroe, playing side to side with such acts as Up Front, Wide Awake, No For An Answer, Insted and Bold. They recorded 1 demo and 1 EP, those were unofficially reproduced in the 90’s by everyone’s favorite European label - Lost & Found Records. In 2002, Mankind Records reissued their discography into a LP. Pressing is red/309 and black/715. Got myself a red copy not much time after its release through RevHq and as I remember, it wasn’t such a big deal at the time, actually don’t know if Unit Pride records are coveted nowadays, for me it’s a must have!
In the mid 90’s Eric started REDEMPTION 87, the band that people either love it or don’t give a rats ass. They were comprised of Jade AFI, Jimmy Token Entry, Ian Skankin’ Pickle and local punk drummer Gary.
His iconic vocals and positive lyrics are present once again and helps R87 withstand the test of time. They recorded one EP and two full-lengths and while active they were known for playing straight forward old school hardcore in a time when the trend was none but chug-chug metalcore. After the release of their first album in '96, R87 managed to built some hype around them that soon faded as the follow-up record took too long to be released (Spidey Sessions and All Guns Poolside, both in '98) due to Label and recording issues.
(At shows R87 used to do covers by Youth Of Today and Antidote)
Curse the day that I decided to pursue a colored copy of their S/T LP, released in 1996 by New Age Records. It turns out it’s a sought after record, both clear and purple versions. The pressing info is a REAL mystery on this one (as stated in these expert sites 1/2/3), the common sense goes by the marbled purple vinyl being the rarest, followed by coke bottle clear and then regular black. It took me a great deal of time to snag one in a good price, but finally got my hands on a purple copy a few months ago on ebay, in a single bid low priced auction, due to its lack of appealing listing title (no rival mobs, lockin out or stray rats attached to it) and the seller was focused on listing laser disc movies. Notice: even the black copies are hard to come by these days.
Then, in 1998, rose THE NERVE AGENTS, the most well known amongst the 4 bands. Their debut on Revelation got people’s attention almost instantly as the artwork didn’t fit the labels usual catalogue, it seemed more suitable as an Earache/ Relapse Records release. After the first (wrong) impression you face some pretty cool fast and acid hardcore punk. By the second album they emerged in an (energized) Misfits worship which pulled some audience off and attracted a bunch of new ones. For me it has one of Eric’s most remarkable output, the opening song is fixed in my mind like words carved in stone: “fall of the all-American, fa-fa- fa- faaaaaaaaaaall”. Went it comes to live performances, they threw one of the wildest gigs with hospitalized attendees from time to time.
(Eric in Nerve Agents sporting a custom NO JUSTICE shirt)
As of today I only have their first record in vinyl, pressing of 222 on clear green/ 409 on grey (there are also unknown quantities in regular black). Days Of The White Owl got a second pressing recently at Revelation.
After several attempts to form a new band, Eric reunites in 2007 with Dante Sigone (from Nerve Agents) to come up with SAID RADIO, surf induced gritty punk rock, TSOL style . They also count with the help from Tim Unit Pride, Gary R87 and Anthony Ceremony, how cool is that? They made a 9-song record, one East Coast Tour and broke up right after that very year.
Here is Eric Ozenne's discography:
1988 – UNIT PRIDE “Holding On Strong” Demo (come as a B-Side on the 2002 reissue by Mankind Records)
1988 – UNIT PRIDE “Then and Now” (1st press by StepForward Records/ 2nd press in 1990 by Point Blank Records/ Reissued in 2002 by Mankind Records)
1996 – REDEMPTION 87 “Self-Titled LP” (New Age Records)
1998 – REDEMPTION 87 “Spidey Sessions 1995” (Breakout Records)
1998 – REDEMPTION 87 “All Guns Poolside!” (Blackout! Records)
1998 – THE NERVE AGENTS “Self-Titled 12'' EP” (Revelation Records)
2000 – THE NERVE AGENTS / KILL YOUR IDOLS “Split” (Mankind Records)
2000 – THE NERVE AGENTS “Days Of The White Owl” (Revelation Records)
2001 – THE NERVE AGENTS “The Butterfly Collection” (Hell-cat Records)
2007 – SAID RADIO “Tidal Waves And Teeth “ (Mankind Records)
THE NERVE AGENTS RECORDS & MERCH
UNIT PRIDE CD & T-SHIRT
(official reprint of the Unit Pride "Holding On Strong" design Tee)
Part I (Unit Pride + Redemption 87)
Part II (The Nerve Agents + Said Radio)
[High quality audio files + imprints scanned by me and WhoisWho/ItFollows blog]
Photo Credits: Dayton Paiva, Carl Gunhouse, Trent Nelson. Vinyl photos by myself (Cesar).