Fans of wildly influential New York post-hardcore band Quicksand rejoice! Slip, the band’s 1993 debut full-length, is finally being re-released on vinyl this spring by the recently relaunched Iodine Recordings.
“Slip was a major album for me, and I gave everything I had to it,” Quicksand vocalist and guitarist Walter Schreifels tells SPIN over Zoom. “We were in an atmosphere where the underground scene we were a part of was suddenly on MTV — which probably sounds like a foreign concept to some people now. This music that we had absolutely no expectation of anyone beyond our small group of people being into was suddenly being delivered to a massive audience. I think this record still has power from that time, and it’s awesome that we can still talk about it 30 years later, because you can never predict how that’s going to happen.”
The album’s re-release was initially announced as part of a now-sold-out deluxe edition due March 31, which also features a 64-page hardcover book featuring photos and promotional materials from the Slip era along with some fancy packaging and a poster. The book (which is still available with the album as a different deluxe edition out on May 26, without the packaging or poster) includes quotes and stories from Schreifels, Anthrax’s Scott Ian, Cave In’s Stephen Brodsky, Refused’s Dennis Lyxzen, Thursday’s Geoff Rickley, Hole’s Samantha Maloney, 108’s Kate Reddy, Scowl’s Kat Moss, Orange 9mm/Bush’s Chris Traynor, CIV’s Sam Siegler, Don Fury and more. It is also the second time in a matter of months that Schreifels has had an influential album re-released with a book of bonus material, as his post-Quicksand band Rival Schools’ United by Fate got a similar treatment late last year.
“Iodine Recordings really were the ones who tracked down all of these photos and gave Slip such a loving treatment,” Schreifels says. “I just wrote the liner notes because I was so touched by what they had done. Sometimes I’ll see it’s the anniversary of a record and just be like, ‘Cool,’ but I don’t have the consciousness to actually do something with it. So when Iodine let me see it, I was like, ‘Oh my god, this is really cool. I can get into this!’ It was the same with the Rival Schools one, to be honest. It gives me the objectivity to feel like a fan.”
The biggest difference between Quicksand’s Slip and the recent Rival Schools re-release is that the former kicked off a lengthy run (“with a big gap in there,” Schreifels adds) for the versatile songwriter’s most prolific band. It was the album that helped transform him into more than just Gorilla Biscuits’ songwriter and guitarist. Considering Schreifels’ current legacy (particularly in hardcore and post-hardcore music), one could argue that Slip shaped the last three decades of the artist’s career, which then helped shape the last quarter-century of the genre — making it one of the most influential non-Nirvana albums of its time.
“I think Slip was reflective of how a lot of people my age felt at the time — and probably how people that age always feel,” Schreifels says. “I think my peers in the hardcore world felt the same way to some degree, and I always think I connect to music when I have a similar feeling to whatever the artist is articulating. Gorilla Biscuits was an honest expression of what I felt at that time, but that changed as I got older. Also, maybe I felt it had to have some weight to it because I was singing it, but that’s not to say that GB isn’t weighty in its own way.”
As for the legacy of the album and future generations discovering it for the first time thanks to the new vinyl release, Schreifels still remembers how he looked up to bands in New York’s ‘80s hardcore scene while making Slip. He’s happy others are able to draw inspiration from Quicksand, and hopefully learn from its mistakes, just as he did with the bands who seemed like gods to him as a young man.
“We picked up a bunch of stuff from a bunch of people and regurgitated it, and then a bunch of people picked up a bunch of stuff from us and regurgitated it, so we’re all part of this big happy regurgitation,” Schreifels laughs. “But Slip was a really intense, from-the-heart record. Gorilla Biscuits’ records were always more fun and optimistic, whereas Slip is way more introverted and cathartic as a form of personal expression. I think there’s a real earnestness to it, because the emotion, commitment and desperation going into it were all real. There was so much cool stuff happening at the time, but we put our stamp on a certain mix of it, with a lot of real emotion and chemistry between all of us.”