JUDGE is a New York-based straight edge band, formed in 1987 by YOUTH OF TODAY guitarist, John Porcelly, and former YOUTH OF TODAY drummer, Mike Ferraro. Their first release was a 7″ on Porcell’s label Schism entitled ‘New York Crew’. The record featured 5 songs, one of which was a cover of ‘Warriors’ by the British oi/punk band BLITZ. On this recording, the band was merely a two-piece, featuring Porcelly on bass and guitar, and Ferraro on vocals and drums. But with the addition of bass-player Jimmy Yu (DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR) and drummer Luke Abbey (WARZONE/GORILLA BISCUITS), they got together a fully functional live line-up.
The band received lots of criticism due to their militant Straight Edge lyrics. The militant lyrics were a conscious move on the band’s part, as they were sick of seeing bands like YOUTH OF TODAY, who in reality had a very positive message, get slagged for being too militant. So they decided to give the nay-sayers exactly what they wanted: the most militant Straight Edge band imaginable. Mike Ferraro has later on admitted that provocation was an important aim for the band.
With a new line-up of Sammy Siegler (SIDE BY SIDE/YOUTH OF TODAY) on drums and Matt Pincus on bass, the band proceeded to record their full-length ‘Bringin’ It Down’ for Revelation Records at Chung King Studios in New York City. The recording was finished, but the band were so unhappy with the result that they decided to scrap it and re-record it at Normandy Sound in Rhode Island. Revelation did however put out a limited pressing of the original recording, fittingly titled ‘Chung King Can Suck It’. ‘Bringin’ It Down’ was released in 1989 and JUDGE continued touring up until 1991, and even released another 7″ ‘There Will Be Quiet’, before breaking up the same year.
Revelation Records released an album with all of JUDGE’s recordings in 2005 called ‘What It Meant: The Complete Discography’. In 2013 the band reformed (with Charlie Garriga from CIV/OUTFACE on second guitar) and started touring again.
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