"We get a lot of influence from '90s bands — for example, Floorpunch is one of our faves — but I’d say most of our influence comes from Carry On and early '00s bands," says guitarist Anthony Marinaro, describing the prime inspriration behind Pain Strikes. The Reading, PA-based quintet is starting to pick up steam after a long period of inactivity.
Anthony explains: "Pain Strikes started around 2013 with Colin (vocals), Brad (bass), Sean (guitar), and Paul (drums). They have all been in other bands together and put out a demo then, but didn’t really do much after it came out, so when I moved to the area and found out they were doing another EP, I was like, 'you guys need to push this, the demo was great so let’s just play as much as we can.'
The guitarist must truly believe in what Pain Strikes is doing because it's not like the guy isn't busy enough already. In addition to Pain Striles, Anthony also plays in Jesus Piece and Struck nerve. Drummer Paul Chrismer is gearing up for the release of Realms of Eternal Decay, the excellent debut album from his other band, Outer Heaven. But all this outside activity hasn't prevented Pain Strikes from dropping a new EP on their Bandcamp called As Days Pass.
When I was coming up in the early ‘90s, Pennsylvania had quite a strong hardcore community, but what does Anthony think of its current scene?
"I love PAHC. From Pittsburg to Philly to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, there has been so many sick bands and always have had a really strong scene, one of the best in the country. I think with the amount of people involved, they should be more encouraged to start bands, like how Florida and Long Island are currently killing it with new bands."
Now that Pain Strikes is in full-on work mode, they've alligned themselves with Safe Inside Records, a label that is quickly becoming one of the most prolific in the hardcore realm in recent memory. With recent titles by Revenge Season, Dying for It, and Clear Focus, it's a great move for the Pennsylvania combo. "Burt’s [Jenkins] the man. He seems really psyched on the EP and hit us up about doing the 7”. We were all really down. I was already familiar with the label because he repressed the Slugfest stuff, so we were all super down. It’s cool when somebody is excited about your release and really wants to do it."
So, outside of Pain Strikes, what are some other bands from the Reading area we should all check out? "Paul will probably hate this answer, but currently Outer Heaven is #1. They’re putting an LP soon on Relapse and I’m psyched for that. As far as past bands go, if you’ve never listened to Mushmouth, everyone should. Not from Reading, but also in our area, we had Atari, Rancor, and Rain on the Parade, which I think is really overlooked by our peers. We also had Agitator from Boyertown.
As Days Pass will see a vinyl release this December, with pre-release options coming shortly.