Ten Yard Fight reinvigorated the stiff and nearly forgotten genre of fast-paced, upbeat, singalong straight-edge hardcore almost all by themselves.
As heralds of what would become the old-school revival movement, they championed not only the drug-free lifestyle, but their hometown in a way reminiscent of scene forerunners Wolfpack, DYS, and SSD or Washington, D.C.'s Minor Threat. Ten Yard Fight began in Boston in 1995. The band was originally intended to be little more than a tongue-in-cheek project combining straight-edge philosophy with football jargon. Vocalist Anthony "Wrench" Moresschi had never sung for a band before recording his shouts on Ten Yard Fight's demo, crafted together with notable hardcore producer Brian McTernan. The band played its first show with Moresschi clad in a combination of football gear and punk rock clothing. The crowd response was so enthusiastic that the band decided to become more serious. Ten Yard Fight began performing on the East Coast, igniting a new interest in the old-school style of hardcore. Having sold 1,000 demos, Ten Yard Fight teamed up with Big Wheel Recreation to release the Hardcore Pride 7" single. The initial pressing sold out in less than a week, helping generate a buzz that resulted in the band's signing to Equal Vision. The first result of the partnership was the compiling of the demo and 7" onto a single CD. Ten Yard Fight next released an album called Back on Track, helping re-establish Equal Vision as a prominent force in the hardcore scene in the process. Lineup changes followed, as the group toured Europe and the United States through 1997 and 1998. In 1998, the band recorded six new songs that would later surface as The Only Way EP. The following year, Ten Yard Fight decided to call it a day, organizing a final show in October that was packed with kids and internationally recognized as "Edge Day." The final lineup of the band included Wrench, guitarist John LaCroix (who started out playing bass), guitarist Timmy Cosar (who later formed American Nightmare), bassist Brian "Clevo" Ristau, and drummer Ben Chused. The Only Way: 1995-1999, a DVD/video documentary, had its release celebrated a year later with Ten Yard Fight taking the stage, for the last time and unannounced at "Edge Day Two," coinciding with the final performance of Boston's In My Eyes. LaCroix briefly played bass in Reach the Sky before he and Wrench relocated to the West Coast. ~ Ryan J. Downey, Rovi