The History of Nemesis Records

We can all agree Nemesis Records and “Big” Frank Harrison have left a huge mark on the worldwide hardcore scene. Even though Nemesis lived quite a short life, they managed to put out iconic releases by bands like Reason To Believe, Visual Discrimination, Vision, Hunger Farm and Insted. Among the more leftfield and experimental side of hardcore, their catalog would also feature bands like Brujeria and The Offspring, which we all know where are now.

Nemesis was a label, which would not only strive to give worthy music a chance, but always express a strong position on certain social issues like discrimination, drug use and rape. Nemesis was a hardcore label in all of its aspects. First would come the message and the music, and then everything else. This is why it’ll always remain as something different from “bigger” and more popular US labels. “Big” Frank would release anything he believed in. Not giving a fuck about trends, only carrying about great music being spread as much as possible and hardcore kids giving a shot on all possible costs.

It’s a great thing that Reaper Records’ Patrick Kitzel (also known for his work on Spawn, Repel records & fanzine and True Blue) took the time to collaborate with Harrison to document and eternalize the legacy of Nemesis Records. The book looks great, it’s a pro job. Besides an interesting read for record nerds and collectors, hardcore “historians” it’s a great piece of inspiration for all of us who are part of the scene in any possible way.

The History of Nemesis Records features Frank’s very own personal and sincere recollections about each and every release. He hasn’t spared us anything, no matter how bitter sweet the stories were. As fascinating is the feeedback from the very artists he released as well. The book features pieces written by Andrew Kline (Strife), Mike Hartsfield (Outspoken, New Age Records), Dave Franklin (Vision)Dan O’Mahony (No For An Answer, Carry Nation), Isaac Golub (A Chorus Of Disapproval, A18), Fred Hammer (It’s Alive Fanzine), Jon Bunch (Sense Field, Reason To Believe) and many more.

If you’ve ever considered starting your own band, zine, label, record store or have just been curious about the mechanics, difficulties and challenges of running one, go grab this book. It’s the reality of hardcore punk music extracted straight from the source.

You can still buy a copy from Reaper Records.

Angel S.

Freelance journalist and full-time copywriter from hell. Playing ambient & drone music as Mytrip, teaching Sound Art, booking shows with For The Kids & Amek Collective. Always in for a cup of coffee.