Memphis, TN's Raid inaugurated the era of vegan straight-edge bands in the hardcore scene nearly single-handedly. Together with California's Vegan Reich and England's Statement, Raid's militant approach to animal rights, environmentalism, and the drug-free lifestyle influenced bands like Earth Crisis, Framework, Abnegation, and Another Victim in sound and ideology. Their music was as uncompromising as their lifestyle politics, punctuated by dive-bomb guitar squeaks, chunky riffing, and hoarsely barked vocals that made use of words like "anthropocentric" in ways later-era metal stars could never hope to handle. Their earlier work was more closely linked to traditional hardcore punk, with their last five songs being heavily influenced by the then-fresh metalcore movement spearheaded by Cleveland's Integrity. Raid formed from the ashes of the decidedly Christian-oriented straight-edge band One Way. Vocalist Steve Lovitt, guitarists Jason VanAuken and Chad Cathy, bassist Mark Whitlock, and drummer Steve Capehart weren't just musicians, they were spokespeople: first for vegan straight-edge, then for a new movement called hardline. They self-released a demo cassette in 1989, then in 1990 put out a 7" single called Words of War through Hardline Records. In 1991, the sessions for a proposed single tentatively titled Under the Axe were compiled with the 7" tracks and two demo songs as the Above the Law CD. Raid broke up shortly after, with most of its membership gradually falling away from the vegan straight-edge lifestyle. In 1995, Victory Records reissued the CD, retitling it Hands Off the Animals.
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