Endpoint – If the Spirits Are Willing: Slamdek Discography 1988-1991

May 28, 1994
If the Spirits Are Willing: Slamdek Discography 1988-1991 compact disc
[SDK-9] press-printed one color booklet in jewel box

The eternally-anticipated compact disc issue of Endpoint’s 1989 debut, If The Spirits Are Willing, finally materialized in May of 1994. The CD, while it came over six years after some of its material was recorded, is perhaps one of the finest examples of what Slamdek aspired to be. And it was one of the label’s brightest moments.

The disc contains twenty-five songs, documenting Endpoint’s first 17 song cassette, their tracks from the first Endpoint/Sunspring 7″, their contribution to the Christmas 1990 tape, and five of the seven songs they recorded in 1988 under the name Deathwatch. What makes this CD so complete, however, is not necessarily its music. Its extensive liner notes is where the disc shines brightest. It documents, in a twelve-paragraph essay by guitarist and founder Duncan Barlow, the complete history of the band from Day One through the discography’s release. Also, a seven-paragraph column provides a documentation of the sources, history, and previous availability of every song. It even goes so far as to point out its own inadequacies… it’s two songs short of being a full discography of the band’s ’88 to ’91 work on Slamdek. Two of the Deathwatch tracks, “Wool” and “Dignity,” from the Crain/Deathwatch 7″, are missing; as is the still-unreleased Juniper Hill version of “Wool.”

August 1994, Endpoint in California: Duncan Barlow.

The front and back covers of the CD have been reversed, using the jewel box tray card as the front instead of the booklet. It only makes sense, doesn’t it? The booklet side is 4.75″x4.75″, and the plastic spine is a 0.5″x4.75″ area of unusable space. The tray card side is 5.375″x4.75″ and is all usable space. I had planned to make the artwork on all future Slamdek CD’s this way. But you know how people are when it comes to resisting change. The next compact disc release was Kinghorse’s Too Far Gone, which they wanted arranged the normal way.

The artwork included photos from all eras of the band’s existence, by Chris Higdon, John Toombs, Russ Cermy, and Aaron Wilson. Tim Furnish did the scanning at Kinko’s, and I designed the layout which took more hours than any previous release.

The first batch of Endpoint CD’s was 1,000 units manufactured by Rainbo Records in California (bad idea). 200 copies were given to the band to sell on an upcoming U.S. tour. Another set of 500 units was ordered in November 1994. Those discs arrived when I was away on a five-week Metroschifter U.S. tour. My mom and Carrie sent most of them to distributors, and the discs were all gone before Slamdek went under in February 1995.

One last note, anyone who has ever dealt with the fickle format of DAT, will undoubtedly recognize the sweet sound of the digital glitch on the Spirits CD at 0:19:36 (at 2:01 during “Final Stand”). It was on the Juniper Hill master and unfortunately could not be fixed before the CD’s were pressed. Track 18 was 13 seconds of intentionally blank space used to separate If The Spirits Are Willing from the eight other songs on the disc.


01 Thought You Were
02 Mirrored Image
03 Dignity
04 Ignorance Downfall
05 Label Me
06 Wool
07 Final Stand
08 Way Back
09 Axis Crew
10 Face
11 Wrong
12 Stick Around
13 Wopner
14 Shattered Justice
15 Rungless Ladder
16 Religion Crisis
17 Exit
18 [blank]
19 Promise
20 Priorities
21 Endpoint Outro
22 Stick Around
23 Ignorant Downfall
24 Invent A Law
25 Label Me
26 Death Watch

Tracks 1 through 17 were originally issued June 20, 1989 as If The Spirits Are Willing on cassette. With the exception of track 6, If The Spirits Are Willing was recorded by Todd Smith in March 1989 at Juniper Hill Creative Audio. Produced by Cubby Cleaver and Endpoint. Rob Pennington vocals, Duncan Barlow guitar, Rusty Sohm drums, Jason Graff bass. Track 6: Duncan Barlow guitar, Rusty Sohm bass. “Wool” was recorded in Rusty’s apartment on digital two track by Scott Ritcher to replace another song called “Wool” from the Spirits session that the band chose to omit at the last minute. As a result, Track 6 required being a specific length to fit into its location on the digital master. The original release cassettes had “Wool” fade-in to make it shorter. This compact disc has the unfaded start-to-finish “Wool” from which the other version was made.

Tracks 19 through 21 feature a different lineup than If The Spirits Are Willing. Rob Pennington vocals, Duncan Barlow guitar, Chad Castetter guitar, Lee Fetzer drums, Jason Hayden bass.

Tracks 19 and 20, “Promise” and “Priorities,” comprised one side of the first Endpoint/Sunspring split 7″, released April 5, 1991. These two songs were recorded by Howie Gano at Sound on Sound Studios [November 1990].

“Endpoint Outro,” Track 21, appeared on Slamdek’s compilation cassette Christmas 1990, released December 22, 1990. This song was recorded on digital two track in Lee’s apartment by Scott.

Tracks 22 through 26 were recorded in February 1988 at Artists’ Recording Service before the group was called Endpoint. This lineup under the name Deathwatch was: Rob Pennington vocals, Duncan Barlow guitar, Greg Carmichael guitar, Rusty Sohm drums, Jason Graff bass. Track 23 appeared on the Crain/Deathwatch 7″ (along with A.R.S. recordings of “Dignity” and the aforementioned other song called “Wool”) which was limited to 300 copies. Those records were given away free September 7, 1990 at Louisville’s Zodiac Club during a Crain, Endpoint, Sister Shannon show. Tracks 22, and 24 through 26 have remained unreleased until now.

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