Mateo Pinkerton (Drums), Bob Ferry (Vocals, Guitar Maxmillion, Halo Epidemic), Cris Jerue (Vocals), Tony Baumeister (Bass Fresh American Lamb), Mark Sanger (Drums), Phil Vera (Vocals, Guitar Crom, Fresh American Lamb), Jason Corley (Drums Maxmillion, Fistula, King Travolta, Scumchrist, Trenchant), Nial McGaughey (Bass 3D House of Beef, Crippled Black Phoenix), Rafael Martinez (Bass Acid King, Black Cobra, Gammera), Greg Burckhart (Bass), Benji Clark (Bass), Mike Morris (Bass Hunger Farm), R.D. Davies (Drums), Andy Hassler (Drums)

A pioneering American sludge metal troupe based out of Southern California, -(16)- is credited with helping to shape the seismic hard rock subgenre alongside accordant extreme metal acts like Acid Bath, Eyehategod, and Crowbar.

Founded in 1992 by Bobby Ferry (guitar), Cris Jerue (vocals), and Jason Corley (drums), the band issued its debut full-length album, Curves That Kick, in 1993 via hardcore punk/heavy metal scene maker Pushead's independent Bacteria Sour label. Citing a wide array of influences that included Bad Brains, Metallica, 7 Seconds, and Jesus Lizard, the band broke big in 1996 with the release of the critically acclaimed Drop Out.

Despite enduring numerous substance abuse issues and lineup changes, the band continued to release new music, dropping Blaze of Incompetence in 1997 and Zoloft Smile in 2003, as well as a flurry of EPs and singles. The band went on an official hiatus in 2004, but re-formed in 2007 after inking a deal with Relapse Records.

The resulting Bridges to Burn arrived the following year and earned high marks all around. 2010 saw Relapse reissue the group's 1993 debut, and 2012 yielded the band's sixth studio long-player, Deep Cuts from Dark Clouds.

The punishing Lifespan of a Moth followed in 2016. -(16)- is: Cris Jerue (vocals) Bobby Ferry (guitar, vocals) Alex Shuster (guitar) Barney Firks (bass) Dion Thurman (drums) .

June 1996, issue #31 of Terrorizer Magazine. It’s insane to think of it like that, but some of our youngest readers of today (all ye fourteen year olds back there, raise a hand) might not even have been born when that issue came out. Yet, always light-years ahead of its time, our fine rag already displayed the finest taste possible. On page 54, among reviews of The 3rd And The Mortal, Slapshot or Sweet Pea, a little band by the name of 16 stood out, with the CD and inlay cover of its new album tastefully decorating Chad Hensley’s wise words about ‘Drop Out’. “There is absolutely no doubt that this crew of dope smoking, skateboarding, beer drinking hoodlums will soon overpower the world with their open-wound roar,” our Chad said, slapping it with a four and a half out of five rating. You’d think that, wouldn’t you? ‘Curves That Kick’, released three years earlier, had been a good start, but ‘Drop Out’ was 16’s coming of age. It’s a monster album, unbelievably heavy, angst-ridden in its don’t-give-a-fuck attitude, yet still infectious in that repeated-listening way that fewer and fewer albums are still able to enrapture us these days. I discovered 16 with that album, and since then I have made it a personal mission to subject each and every friend, be they into extreme music or not, to 'Drop Out'. And it's usually a success. Fourteen years later, it’s aged stupendously and effortlessly maintains all of its charm, with that added comfort bonus of us unashamed fanboys knowing every single note of it by heart. How could they not overpower the world with this kind of music? Especially in 1996, when there weren’t really all that many bands comparable to 16? Yet, after the not-as-good-as-but-still-okay ‘Blaze Of Incompetence’, the awesome, even if done by a dying band and criminally ignored worldwide ‘Zo|oft Smile’, a five year split, a triumphant return (on their 16th anniversary, life does work well sometimes) with the "classic" line-up celebrated with a contract on Relapse, of all labels, and followed by their best album (‘Drop Out’ excluded) ‘Bridges To Burn’, 16 are still an obscure cult thing to a lot of people who should worship them. Drop them in casual musical conversation and most people won’t even realize you’re talking about a band, let alone know them. I’ve seen them live last Monday on the lower deck of a boat with some 30 other kindred spirits, a place where Kylesa playing a rather crappy gig packed some 200 people a couple of months ago. Even if being on Relapse has opened a lot of eyes and ears and taken the band to a level of exposure they probably never had before, it's clear that life is still being an unfair bitch. In a way, however, it’s perversely appropriate. 16 have always been the sound of the broken, the lost, the downcast and the fucked up. 16 is basically about not giving a shit about anything anymore. Even if you haven’t had any contact with the band before, you can figure it out from the titles alone. Favourite songs from throughout the years include ‘Fucked For Life’, ‘Born To Lose’ and their absolute anthem, ‘Drop Out’s final track '16'. One of the best songs off the latest album starts with vocalist Cris Jerue screaming “GIVE UP!”, while another one features the chorus “throw in the towel / wait for the sequel”. 16 combine the musical equivalents of the random guy you meet in the street who starts throwing punches at you for no reason and the loser who mumbles weird stuff to himself when you pass him by. It’s not happy-go-lucky rock'n'roll, and it's not exactly music for the masses. Still, it pisses me off. This LA bunch are a cornerstone of sludge, of angry, aggressive music, and even if they don’t realise it, a shitload of bands today owe them a huge debt. Their live show is the sort of visceral experience that perfectly complements the feeling you get from their albums, and underneath all the grimy violence, there is genuine talent at work – the huge riffs, the screamed choruses and the pachydermic rhythms remain in your brain and demand constant revisits. My favourite way to listen to 16 is to just go through their entire discography in a row, and it’s one of the very few bands who can comand excited and agitated attention from the first seconds of ‘Doorprize’ (from the 1992 7” EP) to the last echoes of ‘Missed The Boat’, ‘Bridges To Burn’s closing bomb. If you’re into 16 already, we salute you, and urge you to go celebrate the fact that such an awesome band exist in this world by listening to them. If you’re not, please do repair that gaping hole in your record collection. Relapse are even making it easy for you by reissuing all those great older albums with new artwork and everything. Oh, and show up when they’re in town. You won’t regret it. Essential Discography: Curves That Kick (1993) Reissued by Relapse Records 2010 Drop Out (1996) Reissued by Relapse Records 2010 Blaze Of Incompetence (1997) Scott Case (1998 compilation of out-of-print material) Zo|oft Smile (2003) Bridges To Burn (2009) Deep Cuts From Dark Clouds (2012) Current line-up: Cris Jerue (vocals) Bobby Ferry (guitar, vocals) Tony Baumeister (bass) Mateo Pinkerton (drums)

'Lifespan Of A Moth' Available now on CD/LP/Digital via Relapse Records. Order now at Relapse: http://bit.ly/16-lifespan