If you asked me who was the greatest hardcore band of the 1990s, I wouldn't hesitate for a second. That would be Columbia, South Carolina's Assfactor 4. These guys managed to write the most vital, emotive, and uplifting hardcore ever. And it was catchy as fuck. To this day I can't for the life of me understand how these college kids managed to write songs like this, that sounded like no one before, and still haven't been copied today. Just an amazing lost gem of a band. Their live show was chaotic and breakneck and most of all fun.
From a musical standpoint, their greatest achievement was the amazing dual guitar interplay that was never a part of hardcore music. It's my guess that most hardcore musicians just weren't able to play at a level that made this possible. I mean the two guitars might start off together than break off on two distinct and complementary melodic lines, then snake round each other, then reconvene for a visceral punch. And the tones of the guitar were perfect and sounded great together. They were like a hardcore version of Judas Priest or Thin Lizzy. I don't mean in sound, but in the way they used two guitars to make one dazzling sound. If you like this style of guitar, you know exactly what I'm talking about.
These guys put out two full length albums, 2 seven inches, and a number of tracks on compilations and splits in their career. A CD discography of all their music is in the works and hopefully will see the light of day. Below I have provided a link to a file of their best 7" entitled Smoked Out. This 7" contains 9 tracks of melodic and abrasive beauty. I digitized this record myself from my personal vinyl. I hope you enjoy it. And please let your friends know about it as well. I don't want these guys music to be forgotten.
Smoked Out 7":