Five Albums That Changed My Life: Chris Wrenn of Bridge Nine Records
Founded in 1995, Bridge Nine Records is one of the most influential labels releasing hardcore and punk albums today. Headquartered in Peabody, Mass., the label has issued records by everyone from Agnostic Front and Sick of it All to New Found Glory and H2O. In the next few months alone, Bridge Nine will be unleashing new releases by Terror, Expire, and The Loved Ones frontman Dave Hause.
Bridge Nine was started by Connecticut native Chris Wrenn, a lifelong music geek and while he’s one of the busiest men in our community, he still agreed to take part in Noisecreep’s ‘Five Albums That Changed My Life’ series.
Blood, Sweat and No Tears, Sick of it All (1989)
“My first exposure to heavy music was through metal. In the late ’80s, most of the metal magazines would cover the N.Y. crossover bands like Cro-Mags, Leeway, Agnostic Front and Sick of it All. I’d read about them and saw photos of their live shows, and that SOIA record was one of the first NY hardcore records that I picked up. SOIA had a real scary aura around them at the time and I was drawn to it.”
Suicidal Tendencies, Suicidal Tendencies (1983)
“I found Suicidal through friends that I skateboarded with. This record had all of the anthems that a teenager needed. I used the lyrics to “I Saw Your Mommy” as an example of poetry for my 8th grade English class, to my teacher’s dismay. I had to rewind my cassette tape a dozen times to make sure I got all of the words right so I could write it out, cause my cassette copy didn’t have lyrics.”
Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death, Dead Kennedys (1987)
“I picked this up from a record store on my first trip into NYC. By this point I was a huge Slayer fan and they always repped the DK’s in their promo photos and on stage so I wanted to check them out. This compilation was the first album that I had tracked down and led me to collecting their whole catalog. I was a high school art student and this record turned me on to artist Winston Smith, who I corresponded with soon after.”
Complete Discography, Minor Threat (1989)
“Much like ST, if you were a skateboarder in the late ’80s and early ’90s, you were exposed to Minor Threat. I listened to this record religiously. It was my first exposure to the Straight Edge (something I didn’t adopt for myself for a few more years), and I was able to relate to their lyrics more than the metal bands that I had been a fan of.”
Slowly We Rot, Obituary (1989)
“I picked up the cassette of this album when I was 13 – I had seen a full page ad for it in a metal magazine and thought the album cover was so intense. I remember it was on a trip to Boston with my family. I went up to the hotel room and laid on the bed with my Walkman on and pressed play. The record was so heavy – heavier than anything I had heard (and I was a fan of a lot of a lot of thrash metal at that point) but I totally dug it. That opened the door to the Roadrunner Records catalog, and Sepultura, Deicide, and King Diamond soon followed.”
Head over to www.bridge9.com for more information on Bridge Nine and the label’s upcoming releases.