You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.
Random Conflict is an American hardcore punk rock band formed in Huntsville, Alabama during July 1988. Originally a crossover band, their early recordings combined elements of both hardcore punk and metal. The band was formed by guitarist and vocalist Bill Reeves, formerly of the bands Suburban Nightmare and Miscarriage, and Jerry “DJ” Lawrence, previously of death metal group Skeletal Earth. They recruited bassist Charles Paul Jordan following the breakup of his punk band, Coup d’ Etat. After Random Conflict’s first show, Charles Paul was replaced on bass by Dave Nichols.
In late 1988, the trio released their debut seven-song cassette, Defying the Megadread, a crude, yet powerful 2-track, reel-to-reel recording of signature songs like “Cyanide Nazi Race” and “Grave Desires.” Early copies of this EP included a cover of the song “Halloween” as an uncredited bonus track.
Random Conflict went through significant lineup changes over the next several months. They added Steve Shoemaker as a second guitar player, Larry Horgan replaced Dave on bass and Jay Stephens replaced Jerry on drums. By the summer of 1990, the four-piece released the Psychotronic Mecca cassette, six songs of doomy, fuzzed out trash metal including the popular “Atrocity Manifesto.” The group made two failed attempts at a follow up in 1990 (The Gay Street Demos and The Sock Tape), but only the song “The Process of Chronological Disruption” was released as part of the Angry Kids Unite! 1991 compilation cassette on Peer Pressure Productions. Larry left the band in 1990 and was replaced on bass by Rob Moore, and in the spring of 1991, drummer Ray York was added to the band as Jay and Steve left to form the band Scoff.
In August 1991, the new Random Conflict lineup released Shadows of Existence, a three song 7” record on Peer Pressure Productions. A year later those songs would appear as bonus tracks on the CD version of Internal Visions, a straight-ahead metal album also on Peer Pressure Productions. Internal Visions featured remakes of a few older songs as well as new material like the feminist “Object,” the haunting instrumental “Seconds Underwater” and the Kiss inspired “Brainwashed.”
Creative and personal tensions between Rob and Ray following the Internal Visions tour culminated in a fistfight between the two leaving Ray hospitalized. Bill and Rob tried unsuccessfully to find a new drummer over the next several months, but eventually they agreed to abandon Random Conflict in the summer of 1993.
In the spring of 1996 Bill met Brian Murphree, who had been playing bass with Jerry in the band Mozaik. Jerry suggested that he and Bill reform Random Conflict for a few shows with Brian filling in on bass. The reunion of the band was so popular that the trio quickly focused on writing new songs, and by August they released the Blown Fuse cassette, quickly followed by a split 7” record with the Birmingham, Alabama band, Anti-Crisis, on Pun Crock Records. The cassette When We Do Right No One Remembers, When We Do Wrong No One Forgets followed two years later.
In September 1999, Random Conflict released their second CD, New World Order, a street punk/Oi! influenced album that included fan favorites like “10%,” the nostalgic “1987” and the foreboding, “New World Order.” They began work on the follow up album Annihilation Generation in 2002. However, Jerry’s waning interest in music, Bill’s commitments to other bands Deathcamp Experiment and Riot City Carnival and Brian’s involvement in Daikaju delayed the official release of Annihilation Generation until 2007. Early copies of the album were released as a split CD with the Knoxville, Tennessee based band U.S. Police State, while additional pressings did not include U.S. Police State.
With the approaching 20th anniversary of the band, Bill, Brian and Jerry began revisiting Random Conflict songs from the late 80s and early 90s like “Bloodlust,” “Alone” and “Mr. Slaughter.” In late 2008, they released the Invisible City CD on Stick Man Records, a new recording of ten early era songs and a few contemporary compositions like “Scum,” “No Communication,” “Madness” and “Insanity.”
By late 2010, Jerry left the band for good, and he was replaced on drums by Adam Jackson. Following the breakup of Adam and Bill’s other band, Blood Red Baby Blue, Adam soon lost enthusiasm for Random Conflict and by May 2012, Fist of the North Star’s former drummer Edwin Coombs joined the group.
In January 2013, the new lineup released a four-song split 7” record with Edwin’s other band, The Commonwealth of American Natives on Shit Starter Records. August 2013 marks the 25th anniversary of Random Conflict and the release of their new twelve song LP/CD, Tradition is the Enemy, on No Profit Records.
Tradition is the Enemy is musically raw, aggressive and rebellious, yet easily accessible and masterfully produced. The songs are heavily influenced by 80s American hardcore (Black Flag and Minor Threat), early 80s U.K. punk and metal (Motörhead and Discharge) and contemporary punk (Propagandi and Leftöver Crack), but presented in a way that is fresh and uncontrived. The lyrics tear down the façade of modern culture, exposing evil and corruption, while offering hope and calling for unity. This isn’t a record you’ll hear on the radio or in a car commercial on TV. This is punk rock as it is meant to be…iconoclastic. Many critics have written punk rock’s obituary, and who can blame them? Most contemporary acts tend to be more interested in corporate sponsorships than writing and recording music that will stand the test of time. But the flame still burns in North Alabama with the punk rock stalwarts, Random Conflict!
Charles Paul Jordan
Jerry “DJ” Lawrence