Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Rites of Spring - End on End (1991)

Released in 1991, End on End is a compilation album by pioneers of first-wave emo Rites of Spring. It contains all the songs from both releases, plus one for the road. This band contained both Guy Picciotto and Brendan Canty in their pre-Fugazi days, not to mention that it was produced by Fugazi frontman Ian MacKaye, (how's that for street cred?) and this band's career, like a good punk song, was short and sweet. This band, along with Minor Threat, paved the way for Fugazi, which in turn paved the way for the second-wave emo greats we all know and love (Braid, Mineral, The Promise Ring, Sunny Day Real Estate, etc.), so respect your elders and let them beat your skulls in for the next fifty minutes and thirty-nine seconds. They've damn well earned it.

For fans of: Fugazi, Cap'n Jazz, Christie Front Drive


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Maria Taylor with Andy LeMaster - Savannah Drive (2008)

This record is wonderful for a myriad of reasons. First, it's a collection of good songs, which is essential for any good record. Second, it's a sampler of sorts of Maria Taylor's solo catalog thus far. Six of these seven songs are acoustic renditions of songs selected from all three of her releases. Third, it includes Andy LeMaster of Now It's Overhead, and for those of you who have never heard a Now It's Overhead record, you're missing out. Fourth and certainly not last, despite the fact that it is made up of material previously found on other albums, it is something new entirely. The first, second and fifth tracks ("Song Beneath the Song", "Birmingham 1982" and "Leap Year," respectively) were taken from 11:11, Maria's first solo record. Track 4 ("A Good Start") was taken from her sophomore release, Lynn Teeter Flower, and tracks 3 and 6 ("LadyLuck" and "Time Lapse Lifeline") were taken from my personal favorite album of hers, 2009's LadyLuck. The final track is brand spanking new, a lovely little number called "Tell Me." Enjoy, friends!

For fans of: Azure Ray, Orenda Fink, Jenny Owen Youngs, Damon and Naomi

Discovery of a Lifelong Error - You Can Learn a Lot from a Pair of Black Lungs... (2007)

I went into this record with absolutely no expectations whatsoever, and that's exactly what I would recommend for all those who dare enter here to do. Listening to this record is like getting swept up into a tornado, and while you're up there, getting hit in the head with toasters and stop signs and cows and all sorts of other debris that the whirlwind managed to gather before getting dropped back down into completely unfamiliar territory. With screams that sound like a Frankenstein-esque monster made of parts of Dallas Taylor (while he was still in Underoath), Drew Speziale, Mike Hranica, and all the members of The Speed of Sound in Seawater and blood-curdling riffs all packed into short and sweet tracks (the longest track, "'Terra Firma' Might Be Inappropriate," clocks in at 3:18), you'd better kiss Auntie Em and the dog goodbye, because for the next 18 minutes and 54 seconds, you'll get blown right the fuck out of Kansas.

For fans of: Daughters, The Speed of Sound in Seawater, Circle Takes the Square, 2 O'Clock Girlfriend