Absolution (2)

Absolution was a hardcore band from New York, United States Of America. Formed in early 1987 in New York City, Absolution was made up of a diverse group of individuals. Guitarist Gavin Van Vlack had previously played in Side by Side, although he left before they recorded their 7”. Bassist Alan Peters had played on Agnostic Front’s “Liberty and Justice For…” LP. Bronx-born vocalist Djinji Brown was the son of respected jazz alto-saxophonist Marion Brown. Drummer Greg Johnston was originally from the midwest.

Absolution began playing shows and recorded some demos at Don Fury’s studio. They immediately attracted attention with their unique sound. While nearly every other NYHC band at that time was playing “youth crew” style hardcore (ex. Youth of Today and Bold) or was adding lots of metal to their sound and going “crossover” (ex. Cro-Mags and Agnostic Front), Absolution was unique. Anchored by the strong rhythm section of Alan and Greg, Gavin had plenty of room to develop an original style of guitar playing. Adding a higher level of technicality than most hardcore bands, without being too “metal”, Gavin’s style included unusual chords and arpeggiations, adding a different twist to the usual NYHC sound. But Absolution’s most unique quality was Djinji’s voice. While other African-American’s had provided vocals for hardcore bands such as YDI, Whipping Boy and others, few of the vocalists sounded “black”. Djinji’s more soulful singing and hip hop influenced delivery were much “blacker” sounding than any other hardcore vocalists, and were a huge contrast to the often sound-alike vocal style heard in hardcore. Lyrically, Absolution were more thought provoking than the typical “stabbed in the back” or “tough guy” lyrics so prevalent at that time, hitting on topics as diverse as self awareness, urban squalor, and the hardcore scene itself. Absolution were at their best live and Djinji’s athletic stage presence was reminiscent of a young H.R. of Bad Brains. Gavin’s intimidating persona. Musically they created an energetic, powerful sound, led by Djinji’s soaring vocals and free of hardcore’s clichés. Playing CBGB’s as well as the other NY venues of that time (The Pyramid, Rapp Arts Center and Lismar Lounge), the Tompkins Square Bandshell (scene of the Tompkins Square Park riot) and occasional out of town shows in Boston and Washington D.C., Absolution became one of the most highly regarded NYHC bands in 1988.

Vocal: Djinji Brown
Guitar: Gavin Van Vlack
Bass: Alan Peters
Drums: Greg Johnston


TEMP10 Absolution (2) - Complete Discography album art Absolution (2) Complete Discography (Album, Comp) Temperance Records TEMP10 US 1997 Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

CER-03 Absolution (2) - Absolution album art Absolution (2) Absolution (EP) Combined Effort Records CER-03 US 1989 Sell This Version
LL04 Absolution (2) - Absolution album art Absolution (2) Absolution (EP) Lush Life LL04 US 2013 Sell This Version
wardance records 19, war 19 Absolution (2) - Juxtaposition album art Absolution (2) Juxtaposition(7", EP) Wardance, Wardance wardance records 19, war 19 US 2017 Sell This Version