Thursday, 28 June 2012

Hot Cross

Hot Cross. Ah, Hot Cross. Hot Cross were a hardcore/screamo band from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, active from 2000-2007, when they went on an "indefinite hiatus"/"indefinitely inactive" (a.k.a Fugazi'd us). Regardless of that, what they did during their time as a band was absolutely incredible, and integral in the development of hardcore/screamo/post-hardcore/punk, whichever tag you wish to use.

Hot Cross were one of two bands (the other being Off Minor) formed from the remnants of the legendary screamo band Saetia. Along with Saetia, Hot Cross' roster included members of Joshua Fit For Battle, You And I, Neil Perry, Off Minor (Matt Smith was initially in Off Minor, but switched to Hot Cross like a dirty two-timer) and even Interpol (Greg Drudy, drummer of both Hot Cross and Saetia, as well as founder of Level Plane Records was their original drummer). With the exception of the obvious, all of HC's (greatest initials ever) members are alumni of amazing screamo bands. Yet HC did not exactly stick to that sound. I like to describe them as a band that blended the energy of hardcore with the cathartic aspect of screamo and the technical prowess of math rock. Take that as you will. Whatever it is, it's certainly a deperarture from what they were renowned for. Their first release, A New Set Of Lungs, doesn't stray too far from the "screamo" sound, or at least is the closest resemblance to it in their discography. However, key elements that Hot Cross are known for begin to emerge. The most obvious of which is Billy Werner's vocal style. In Saetia, he basically altered between an all-out scream and softly spoken phrases. In Hot Cross, his vocals usually don't make such drastic changes, yet he keeps things diverse. For the majority of their work, his voice totters between a sing and a scream, basically combining the two distinct vocal styles of Saetia. HC's earlier work leans more towards the scream-y aspect, and the latter portion towards the sing-y part, but throughout their tenure he retains a sense of both. Hot Cross also commonly uses backing vocals to add a whole other dynamic in addition to Billy's voice. This is incredibly effective and expands their palette of brilliance into entirely new territory.

A progession is also quite evident in the music as well. Like I previously mentioned, A New Set Of Lungs features the frantic, jagged, dissonant sound that many of the members' previous efforts included, but with added attributes that become more prominent which each release, and defined HC's sound. Especially the guitar work. For the majority of their career, they had two guitarists. That is normal and expected in most hardcore/screamo bands. However, the way HC utilized two guitars is absolutely amazing. They'd play off each other, switching between power chords/octaves to intricate, angular lead lines comprised of a flurry of hammer-ons and pull-offs interlocking and harmonizing. True fretboard fury. This is an integral component of their sound, and a huge contribution to the awesomeness that makes up Hot Cross. This is probably best exemplified on their EP Fair Trades And Farewells (my personal favourite release), but is also quite present on their first LP Cryonics, as well as their splits around that time. However, for their final release and second LP Risk Revival, the band had to fare with a sole guitarist, since Josh Jakubowski had left. Even without him, this is still a great album. There's still tons of great guitar work, and even an element of experimentation, as evidenced by the track "Resent Resist Rebuild" or the acoustic bits in "Exits And Trails" and "Finance Fuels The Sickness At Heart". Unfortunately, they broke up (or at least might as well as have) shortly after this album (it was released on February 20, 2007, they announced their parting of ways on July 6, 2007). No specific reason was given, but I'd say it's safe to assume there was some inner turmoil of sorts.


Wow, I completely forget to mention the bass and drums. I must commend Greg Drudy and Matt Smith for being absolutely phenomenal at what they do. They keep the energy up while the guitars are flitting about as such a single, solid unit. Their parts are always perfect because they're not seemingly complex like the guitars often are, but not simple and straight-forward either. This balance is unbelievable, and when meshed in with the guitars and Werner's voice, they create a pulsating beast only known as Hot Cross. Speaking of Werner, I should also point out HC's lyrical style. They're certainly still personal, but are also very sociopolitically aware, which make for a great contrast. Werner has a very poetic sensibility to this writing, which makes his words very passionate. Coupled with his delivery, you have a very powerful singer.

Hot Cross released two full-lengths, Cryonics and Risk Revival, two EPs, A New Set Of Lungs and Fair Trades And Farewells, and three splits with Light The Fuse And Run, Lickgoldensky, and The Holy Shroud. I also included a live radio session they did with WLUW, a college radio station based in Loyola Chicago University, from 2004.

1. Born On The Cusp
2. History Fell In The Heart Broke Open
3. Between Minutes And Miles
4. Lend Me Your Brain (I'm Building An Idiot)
5. Putting The Past Right
6. 4A:030401
7. Finger Redux

1. Hot Cross - In Memory Of Morvern
2. Hot Cross -  The Eye Is A Tricky Machine
3. Light The Fuse And Run - Ghost Town
4. Light The Fuse And Run - Instrumentstwo

1. Fortune Teller
2. A Weekend Spent Askance
3. Pretty Picture Of A Broken Face
4. A Tale For The Ages
5. Dissertation: 14
6. In Memory Of Morvern
7. Patience And Prudence
8. Frozen By Tragedy
9. Figure Eight
10. Requiescat

1. Hot Cross - A Voice Turned Vacant
2. Hot Cross - Patience And Prudence
3. Lickgoldensky - Little Dots
4. Lickgoldensky - Gordon Conrad

1. Prepare/Repair
2. Solanka
3. Throw Collars To The Wind
4. Better A Corpse Than A Nun
5. Two Cripples Dancing
6. Consonants

Live On WLUW (2004)
1. Putting The Past Right
2. Better A Corpse Than A Nun
3. The Eye Is A Tricky Machine
4. Prepare/Repair
5. Lend Me Your Brain (I'm Building An Idiot)
6. Solanka
7. Pretty Picture Of A Broken Face

1. Hot Cross - Tacoma
2. The Holy Shroud - Clear The Room

Risk Revival (2007)
1. Exits And Trails
2. Turncoat Revolution
3. Resent Resist Rebuild
4. Fire The Foundations
5. Cardiac Silence
6. Kill The Name
7. Silence Is Failure
8. Fatefully
9. Existence
10. Rejoinder
11. Finance Fuels The Sickness
12. Blame Truth
13. Scrape Wisdom

Monday, 25 June 2012

Turnover


Turnover are a great five-piece pop-punk/alternative rock band from Virginia Beach, Virginia, formed in 2009. Obvious influences and comparisons for these guys would be Title Fight, Transit, etc., though I also detect some Jawbreaker influence, which is awesome (of course). Their name is also derived from a Fugazi song, which makes them twice as awesome. Anyway, if you're into bands such as The Story So Far, Title Fight, Such Gold, Transit, Stickup Kid, Seahaven, or The Wonder Years, you'll probably have a pretty good idea of what they sound like, and will definitely dig it. They've put four things out to date. I'd suggest going with the self-titled or Citizen split first, but there's really not a whole lot to grab, so you might as well take everything. It's all pretty good. They just put out their first full-length, and it's awesome, as expected. The emo influence is quite prominent, and they continue to rip off Title Fight (and I mean that in a good way).

1. Life In Stillframe
2. Sleepless Nights
3. Distant
4. Bernstein Cougars

Note: I haven't been able to find any artwork for this. If you have or know of it, sending it to me would be greatly appreciated.

1. Sasha
2. Solitude
3. Time
4. Sleepless Nights
5. Waiting

1. Waiting (Acoustic)

1. Citizen - Drown
2. Citizen - I'm Sick Of Waiting
3. Turnover - Permanent
4. Turnover - No Sun

1. Shiver
2. Most Of The Time
3. Wither
4. Seed
5. Bloom
6. Pray For Me
7. Hollow
8. To The Bottom
9. Like A Whisper
10. Flicker And Fade
11. Daydreaming

11. Flicker And Fade

Note: Full comp here

1. Ivy League TX - Cave
2. Turnover - I Would Hate You If I Could
3. Maker - Here She Comes
4. Such Gold - Framed

1. Disintegration
2. Read My Mind
3. Bella Donna

1. Cutting My Fingers Off
2. New Scream
3. Humming
4. Hello Euphoria
5. Dizzy On The Comedown
6. Diazepam
7. Like Slow Disappearing
8. Take My Head
9. Threshold
10. I Would Hate You If I Could
11. Intrapersonal

1. Humblest Pleasures
2. Change Irreversible

1. Super Natural
2. Sunshine Type
3. What Got In The Way
4. Butterfly Dream
5. Curiosity
6. Pure Devotion
7. Nightlight Girl
8. Breeze
9. All That It Ever Was
10. Living Small
11. Bonnie (Rhythm & Melody)

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Xerxes


Xerxes are a five-piece band from Louisville, Kentucky who formed in late 2008/early 2009. They blend the aggressive sound of hardcore (i.e. Trash Talk) with the highly cathartic, emotional aspect of screamo (they're quite reminiscent of Orchid, You And I, Joshua Fit For Battle, Yaphet Kotto, etc.), and take clear influence from bands such as Touché Amoré (Calvin even sounds like Jeremy Bolm) and Pianos Become The Teeth (especially the quiet, melodic parts). This is not to say that Xerxes are a copy-and-paste band, though. They (to me) have this very dark and ominous atmosphere surrounding them, which sets a completely different atmosphere to the ones previously mentioned. I suppose a similar tone is present in Orchid or You And I, which is partially why that specific comparison is made. The screamo influence is very evident in the semi-short song lengths, unusual song structures, pummelling speed, use of dynamics, very personal lyrical material, and of course, the vocals themselves. The main difference is that Xerxes aren't quite as disjointed as the aforementioned bands. This is where the hardcore aspect is present. I know I keep making the same comparisons, but  musically TA are a very good band to use to describe their sound. TA, like Xerxes, take a heavy amount of influence from screamo, but aren't a screamo band per se. Lots of blast beats and octave chords, but with a straight-forward, distinguishable sound. They also incorporate soft, melodic parts which are beautiful contrasts to the chaos. This is of course quite typical of these kind of bands, but I love the way Xerxes do it. Then again, I love the way they do everything. I'm not quite sure what I'm going on about anymore, and should probably stop with the genre-dropping. It's all hardcore/punk. So just check 'em out if you haven't (I suppose that's what you're doing on here anyway). They're also a kick-ass live band, so if they're within your vicinity, I'd suggest you try and catch them. 

To date, they have four releases: an EP titled Twins, released in May 2010, another EP titled Homeward Carries No Direction in October 2010, a split with Belgium's Midnight Souls in April 2011, and an LP on No Sleep Records in March 2012 titled Our Home Is A Deathbed. The full-length is probably the best starting point, but ever thing is solid. Update: They just dropped a new EP, and it is fucking amazing, and totally reminded me of how fucking awesome this band is. Check it out now.

1. Gold
2. Siren Song
3. Commonplace
4. US 60
5. Glendower Drive
6. Twins
7. Tuesday

1. Freefall
2. Runaways 

1. Xerxes - I Can Feel You Standing There
2. Xerxes - But I Don't Feel You Anywhere
3. Midnight Souls - Former Friends And Other Dead Ends
4. Midnight Souls - Widowmaker

1. Wake
2. Sleep
3. Tide/This Place As A Prison
4. Suburban Asphalt
5. Fever Dream
6. Summer Storms/Winter Leaves
7. February
8. Our City As A Floodplain
9. Funeral Home
10. Sleepwalking With You
11. Our Home Is A Deathbed


Would You Understand? (2013)
1. Grinstead
2. Tramadol

1. I Was Wrong
2. Criminal, Animal
3. A Toast
4. Knife
5. Use As Directed
6. Chestnut Street
7. Collision Blonde
8. Exist 123
9. (but here we are)
10. Nosedive

Monday, 18 June 2012

Embrace

Embrace were a band from Washington, D.C. who were active from the Summer of 1985 to the Spring of 1986.

Embrace consisted of Ian MacKaye on vocals (formerly of the Teen Idles, Minor Threat, and Skewbald/Grand Union at this point in time) as well as Michael Hampton (guitar), Chris Bald (bass), and Ivor Hanson (drums), who all previously played in the Faith. However, Embrace was certainly a departure from the hardcore sound its members had become renowned for. They, like many others, were part of "Revolution Summer", a movement in D.C. that sought to get away from the increasing violence within the hardcore scene that they started. This occurred in the Summer of 1985, with the first (and most noteworthy, along with Embrace) band being the seminal Rites of Spring. Embrace followed a similar path, in that they abandoned the fast-paced chainsaw-like assault of outward anger in favour of a more personal and introspective approach. This is clearly exemplified in Ian's lyrics. He maintains the personal, straight-forward approach in his lyrics, but shifts the topics being discussed from the exterior to the interior, making himself seem more vulnerable than any other one of his projects. This results in some gut-wrenching lines filled with truths nobody wants to hear. An even more drastic evolution occurs in the music itself. The Faith are a great band of course, but didn't stray too far from being typical of a hardcore band from D.C. at the time. In Embrace, however, it is clear that these three musicians are quite adequate on their respective instruments. I personally love Hampton's guitar playing. Rhythmic power chords, but with an element of lead playing that's normally crucified within hardcore. He's also got a great tone. Bald and Hanson also bounce back and forth to create some interesting rhythms, where Bald's melodic lines and Hanson's tight drumming compliment each other perfectly.


Embrace, despite their very short time as a band, were groundbreaking and seminal in the development of "emo", "post-hardcore", "punk", "hardcore", or whatever term you wish to apply to them. They brought music from one place to another, and that certainly warrants recognition. They released exactly one album, which is self-titled on Dischord (obviously) in 1987, a year after they broke up. In 2002, this album was re-mastered and included alternate versions of two songs, "Money" and "Dance Of Days", which I included if you want to check them out.

1. Give Me Back
2. Dance Of Days
3. Building
4. Past
5. Spoke
6. Do Not Consider Yourself Free
7. No More Pain
8. I Wish I
9. Said Gun
10. Can't Forgive
11. Money
12. If I Never Thought About it
13. End Of A Year
14. Last Song
15. Money (Alternate Version)
16. Dance Of Days (Alternate Version)

Friday, 8 June 2012

Happy Go Licky

To round off this trilogy, we've got Happy Go Licky, the third incarnation of Rites of Spring.

Happy Go Licky formed in 1987, a year after Rites of Spring broke up, and One Last Wish formed and then broke up. The original RoS line-up of Guy Picciotto, Eddie Janney, Mike Fellows, and Brendan Canty return to their respective instruments, but with a whole different agenda. I mentioned numerous times that Rites of Spring were doing some original. Well, Happy Go Licky went beyond original. There is literally nothing like them, before or after. They've got tape loops going, feedback-laden dissonant noodly riffs, pounding bass lines, and Canty's signature drum parts. Picciotto's spitting out stream of consciousness phrases while Fellows' backing vocals are prominently featured. And they always remain dynamic enough to keep it interesting, in addition to improvising most of their parts. This description does not even begin to properly describe what the hell they had going on. But it's good.

 They broke up New Year's Day, 1988. That same year, they put out a six-song 12" on Peterbilt Records (Picciotto's label). All songs were live tracks, since they never recorded anything properly. Not that that's a bad thing. Like I said, they were notorious for on-stage improv, which is certainly a testimony to what a tight group they were. In 1997, 21 live recordings (including the initial six) were compiled onto an album titled Will Play as a co-release between Dischord and Peterbilt. By the end of 1988, Guy and Brendan were both a part of Fugazi.

1. Ansol
2. Peterbilt
3. Brigham Young
4. White Lines
5. Torso Butter
6. Casing
7. Twist And Shout
8. Pastel Blues Eyes
9. Abandon Me
10. 13 Months Of Sunshine
11. Suzuki
12. Boca Raton
13. Born Like Steam
14. Battery
15. Don't Bone Me
16. Cutthroat Answer
17. Pastel Blue Eyes (Alternate Version)
18. Suzuki (Alternate Version)
19. Ansol (Alternate Version)
20. Casing (Alternate Version)
21. D.I.Y. Ansol 

Thursday, 7 June 2012

One Last Wish

I suppose it's quite fitting that I follow my Rites of Spring post with one about One Last Wish.

One Last Wish formed in 1986, following the break-up of seminal punk band Rites of Spring due to the departure of bassist Michael Fellows. Remaining members Guy Picciotto, Brendan Canty, and Eddie Janney (who switched to playing bass, as well as contributing lead vocals on some songs) enlisted guitarist Michael Hampton (fomerly of Faith and Embrace) to create One Last Wish. They, like Rites of Spring, existed only briefly. They were active for only four months, and played six shows. The last thing they did before breaking up was record an album. However, since Dischord had been acquring a repuatation for released records by defunct bands, the album was shelved. This is with the exception of one song ("Burning in the Undertow"), which was released on the State Of The Union compilation in 1989. Fast forward ten years to 1999. The One Last wish album is finally put out as a co-release between Dischord and Picciotto's label Peterbilt, titled 1986.

One Last Wish's sound is a noticeable deperature from Rites of Spring's despite the two bands being so closely related (though nowhere near the change in sound that the third RoS incarnation, Happy Go Licky, would bring). First off, OLW are not nearly as chaotic, abrasive, or cathartic as RoS. They are more comparable to Embrace, who are often spoken within the same breath as Rites of Spring. They are also Michael Hampton's former band, which is quite evident in the guitar sound. One Last Wish, like Embrace, opted for a more clean sound as an alternative to the vicious noise of RoS. This is clear in the production quality, since both band's albums sound much more well-produced to the RoS LP (maybe that's not the greatest phrasing. The RoS album has a much more raw sound, whereas OLW's isn't, I suppose). This is with the exception of the All Through a Life EP, which is very indicative of where they were going, and an appropriate transition between the RoS LP and 1986. Anyway. One Last Wish, in addition to sounding cleaner and more or less abandoning the sloppy, raw, and visceral approach of Rites of Spring, created a different atmosphere. These songs sound much more positive and uplifting. This is not to say RoS were downers (see: "Remainder"), or that One Last Wish lacked an emotional punch. They just sound brighter. Picciotto's howls are less frequent and more controlled. The vocals are much more melodic and clearly sung. Janney also contributes vocals to two songs ("Friendship Is Far" and "Sleep Of The Stage"). His vocals are quite good, though I personally prefer Picciotto's.

Reading this over, I realize that I'm more or less comparing One Last Wish to Rites of Spring. I'd just like to clarify that they are their own band, and I love them as they are. They are essential for any fan of  the whole "Revolution Summer" movement or early "emo" bands (I already opened that can of worms in the RoS post).

1986 (1999) 
1. Hide
2. Burning In The Undertow
3. Break To Broken
4. Friendship Is Far
5. My Better Half
6. Loss Like A Seed
7. Three Unkind Silences
8. Shadow
9. Sleep Of The Stage
10. One Last Wish
11. This Time
12. Home Is The Place

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Rites Of Spring

Rites Of Spring are one of the greatest bands ever. No objections. They were:

Guy Picciotto - Vocals & Guitar
Eddie Janney - Guitar & Backing Vocals
Mike Fellows - Bass & Backing Vocals
Brendan Canty - Drums


Rites Of Spring were from Washington, DC and were active from the spring of 1984 to the winter of 1986. Their members had already been somewhat active in the DC scene at the time (most notably guitarist Eddie Janney who played in Skewbald/Grand Union and The Faith, and drummer Brendan Canty who played in Deadline prior to ROS, as well as a band called Brief Weeds with Guy Picciotto). They formed at a time when the punk scene had been taken over by very macho, aggressive individuals with violent tendencies who cared more about bashing others in than the actual music and sense of community that was prevalent at the shows that were occurring at the turn of the decade. This left those people feeling alienated from what they started. As a response to this, the concept of "Revolution Summer" was birthed. This was a movement that was meant to cause a shift in the DC punk scene, and essentially "take it back" (Get it?). The intention was to eradicate the apathetic attitude that the hardcore scene carried, and make people not only aware of, but to take a stance on social and political issues of the time.  These people also had become more interested in exploring new musical ideas than returning to the straight-forward, angst-ridden sound of hardcore. This spawned some incredibly creative and original bands. The first of these being Rites Of Spring. This is not to say they were the ones who initiated this whole movement, they were just the first to get a solid group together. This group just happened to be the best of them all (in my opinion, of course).

When people talk about "bands before their time" or "forward-thinking bands", RoS immediately come to mind. I can only think of a handful of bands that lacked any obvious predecessors. Not a single band was doing what they were. Their music is faintly rooted in hardcore/punk, seeing as that's where they came from, but they emerged with a sound that transcended that. They retained the frantic energy that hardcore produced, but brought a whole new palette of ideas to the music itself. As opposed to the constant punch of hardcore, Rites of Spring began exploring more melodic sensibilities, exemplified in the guitar work in "For Want Of", for example (or almost any song for that matter). Janney and Picciotto's guitar parts weave together so seamlessly, yet never clearly distinguish themselves as "lead" or "rhythm" players. Whether they're attacking power chords, playing melodic lines in conjunction, or exploding in a fury of noise, they are perfectly intertwined and always original, even in the most disjointed parts. Mike Fellows was an incredibly integral component of this band. Balancing root-note rhythms ("Deeper Than Inside") with beautiful bass lines ("Theme") and assaulting riffs ("End on End"), and using these interchangeably, he added a whole other aspect that wasn't present before. Even the drums went beyond the bass-snare-bass-snare-end and into more technical territory, while remaining equally powerful (Canty is an absolutely brilliant drummer). As a group they were brimming with a passion and intensity possibly even greater than what hardcore brought. Every note, no, every sound that escapes them counts as if was their last (cliché, but true in this case). They're putting everything they've got out there, and it resonates. Their shows have become a thing of legend because of how intense they were, and for their tendency to destroy their equipment in an on-stage frenzy. Which brings us to the icing on the cake (hurray for more clichés): the vocals. I am at a loss for words (cliché #3). Picciotto could howl like no other. He let out shrieks that makes the skin shiver. There was certainly something cathartic to them (and to the music itself) that makes you wonder just where he was coming from, seeing as nobody before (and arguably since) had made such heart wrenching sounds before. In almost every song, he totters between singing and screaming. A melody is still distinguishable, yet always sits on the breaking point in an all out scream, which he does employ. And my, does he employ it well.  His vocals, married with the band's unmistakable sound, creates a beautiful, chaotic sound only known as "Rites of Spring".

However, unlike hardcore, all of this energy is not directed outwards, but rather inwards. This is where the "emotional" aspect spawned. Of course hardcore and punk are incredibly emotional, this is just what they ended up being labelled as. Rites of Spring are cited as being the first "emo" band. The term's origin is unknown, though two possibilities are it was first used at a RoS show when someone shouted "You guys are so emo!", or used in Thrasher to describe the "new D.C. sound". "Emo" was short for "emocore", which was short for "emotional hardcore". The people in the scene despised the term, evidenced by Ian MacKaye's rant on it and Guy Picciotto's famous quote. Unfortunately, they're stuck with it now. Personally, I don't mind the term as a genre, but tend to associate it with American Football and Sunny Day Real Estate-ish bands, as I believe I've mentioned on here before. If anything, RoS preceded screamo, since that was the only thing that came close to their intensity. I suppose post-hardcore is an accurate label too. Or just keep it simple and call them punk or hardcore. Or whatever, labels don't matter. Anyway, they were labelled this for a reason, and that was that their focus was not on external issues, but rather internal ones. Their lyrics were heavily introspective, and touched upon topics such as personal relationships. They were done in a way that made Picciotto seem incredibly vulnerable and open, which was emphasised by his impeccable delivery. It also helped that the lyrics themselves are (in my opinion, as always) some of the best ever written.Their approach to this was completely new to music: shredding yourself mentally and physically to convey a personal and intimate message. And they certainly accomplished this, paving the way for countless bands to follow.


Rites of Spring's tenure was brief, but legendary. They formed in 1984, and recorded a demo that same year. They immediately caught the attention of Ian MacKaye, who was already legendary due to his work with Minor Threat, and since many of Rites of Spring's members were already regulars of the D.C. scene, as well as having played in other bands prior. They recorded a self-titled LP in 1985 with MacKaye as producer, which was released the same year. Following that, they recorded an EP in January 1986 (the same month they broke up), titled All Through A Life, that wouldn't be released until the following year. Rites of Spring played exactly 14 shows during their existence, and only two were outside the D.C. area. In 1991, Dischord compiled their recorded material on a single album titled End on End, which included one additional song ("Other Way Around") from their LP sessions. 

Immediately following their demise, three of their members (Picciotto, Janney, who switched to bass, and Canty) formed One Last Wish, along with Michael Hampton (guitarist from Embrace and The Faith), who's life span was even shorter than Rites of Spring's. They only released one 7" during their time as a band, and recorded an LP that wasn't released until 1999. Their sound was semi-similar to RoS's EP, though wasn't quite as frantic. After the break-up of One Last Wish, the original Rites of Spring line-up reunited to form Happy Go Licky, a radically different band to what they had been doing before. I can't even begin to explain their sound. They, like One Last Wish, didn't last long either. The next band formed with Rites of Spring alumni was this little band called Fugazi, with Brendan Canty and later Guy Picciotto. But they were no big deal or anything. They've been on indefinite hiatus since 2003. Mike Fellows has been involved in numerous projects, though I haven't actually gotten around to hearing any. Brendan, after Fugazi's hiatus, does film scores and is raising a family of four kids, or something. I'm not entirely certainly what Eddie Janney did after Happy Go Licky. I know he contributed some guitar parts to Joe Lally's (Fugazi's bassist) solo albums, but I'm unsure of anything beyond that. Guy Picciotto's been producing numerous records, as well as doing some film work. He also toured and record with Vic Chesnutt before his death (RIP). Oh yes, and he and Brendan were also part of an experimental project called Black Light Panthers from 1982-1997. They released an EP on Picciotto's Peterbilt label (which he created. He also put out joint releases with Dischord for Happy Go Licky's Will Play compilation and One Last Wish's 1986). 


'Below is Rites of Spring's discography, including their discography album End on End, their self-titled LP, All Through A Life EP, their 1984 demo, and a live radio session they did for WMUC, the campus radio station of the University Of Maryland.

1. Spring
2. Deeper Than Inside
3. For Want Of
4. Hain's Point
5. All There Is
6. Drink Deep
7. Other Way Around
8. Theme (If I Started Crying)
9. By Design
10. Remainder
11. Persistent Vision
12. Nudes
13. End On End
14. All Through a Life
15. Hidden Wheel
16. In Silence/Words Away
17. Patience

1. End on End
2. Remainder
3. Persistent Vision
4. Hain's Point
5. All There Is
6. By Design
Note: I'm not positive that this is the name, cover, or track order of this album.

1. Spring
2. Deeper Than Inside
3. For Want Of
4. Hain's Point
5. All There Is
6. Drink Deep
7. Theme (If I Started Crying)
8. By Design
9. Remainder
10. Persistent Vision
11. Nudes
12. End On End

1. Intro
2. Hain's Point
3. For Want Of
4. Persistent Vision
5. Deeper Than Inside
6. Drink Deep
7. All Through A Life
8. Hidden Wheel
9. Remainer
10. In Silence/Words Away
11. End On End
Note: I'm not sure if this is the real cover or not. Recoded: 11/01/85, University of Maryland campus radio College Park, MD for WMUC.

1. All Through a Life
2. Hidden Wheel
3. In Silence/Words Away
4. Patience



Monday, 4 June 2012

Sweet Weapons

Sweet Weapons are a great four-piece emo-influenced pop punk (with a miniscule hint of hardcore) band from Albuquerque, New Mexico. I also find the vocals to be somewhat reminiscent of Cedric Bixler-Lavala circa El Gran Orgo or of Garret Klahn from Texas Is The Reason. Actually, I'd say the entire band is probably heavily TITR-influenced. I find it hard to get tired of these guys, they simply ooze awesome. Warning: These guys may induce massive cravings for some Little Caesar's.

FFO: Title Fight, Lifetime, Taking Back Sunday, Jimmy Eat World, Texas Is The Reason

1. Varsity Blues (feat. Jeremy Bolm from Touché Amoré)
2. Hoop Dreams

1. The Big Green
2. Blue Crush
3. Summer Catch
4. Strange Brew

All Of My Best Friends Are Dogs (2013)
1. Not Golden
2. Blue Crush
3. Low End Lonny
4. Summer Catch
5. Strange Brew
6. Settle Down
7. Hoop Dreams
8. Month To Month
9. Sour
10. Enough Already

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Animal Faces

Ooh do I love Animal Faces. These guys are a great three-piece post-hardcore band from Toronto, Ontario (represent!). Sporadic but intense vocals, and incredibly tight instrumentals, with each instrument flawlessly interweaving with each other through dynamic shifts. Melodic, but energetic. Certainly passionate. Pure beauty. Awesome live show as well. If you haven't, check them out! They've got two releases to date, both simply great.

FFO: Native, Kidcrash, Caravels, Q And Not U, ...Who Calls So Loud, The Saddest Landscape

1. Forward Through
2. Aesthetics
3. Living Spaces
4. A Deep Thought
5. Follow Faster

Note: I'm not positive, but I think the artwork varies depending on the release medium. Top left is digital, top right vinyl, bottom CD.

1. Can't See Why
2. Breathe Lightly
3. Sleep Tightly
4. Anomie
5. Watered Down
6. The Shape Of Landscapes

1. Solids - Cold Hands
2. Animal Faces - Give In
3. Animal Faces - Hold On

1. Feels The Same
2. Half Asleep
3. Losing Speed