Friday, June 27, 2008

Connecticut Gems Vol 3: Vatican Commandos

There are some that are only aware of the Vatican Commandos for the pop-culture factoid that a young man by the name of Richard Hall (later to rise to fame as Moby) performed with them for a brief time. Formed in 1982, The Vatican Commandos released an excellent series of EPs in their brief tenure as a band (1982-1985), notably appearing on the excellent compilation Connecticut Fun. Hit Squad For God, their debut EP, was a fresh and solid piece of hardcore, something that wouldn't have been expected from the posh shoreline town of Madison, Connecticut. On this release, the band plows through 6 cuts of pissed off suburban hardcore. And while the topics aren't exactly unfamiliar, the Vatican Commandos are a fine example of the development of punk rock within the sometimes difficult and alienating confines of the wonderous nutmeg state. Check out the record below and no longer be limited to soundbite-esque factoids!

For Against - December

Hailing from Lincoln, Nebraska, many would be surprised by For Against's sound, as their proto-shoegaze tendencies would have most thinking that they were from the UK. And while their influences are rather apparent, it does not take away from the solid songwriting that December, their second full length, displays. Upbeat tempos, intermixed with somber lyrics and haunting melodies, this album seems to borrow characteristics from many ideologically related artists at the time. As a result, you get a band that appears to be incredibly multi-faceted, a band that cannot be pigeon-holed by the definitions of a mere genre. And while some could argue that the album's overall sound is somewhat dated, I think listening to a record with such an unmistakable sound is not only enjoyable, but rather refreshing. This record is carried out so well that it makes the timewarp an incredibly enjoyable experience. A quality release overall, be sure to check it out!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Anyone out there?

In case anyone is reading this and wondering why I've been slacking the past few weeks, my internet access has been temporarily limited. This issue should be resolved tomorrow, and I'll post a bunch of stuff up at that time in celebration! Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Adverts - Crossing The Red Sea

The Adverts were one of the first British punk bands of the late 70's, quickly establishing themselves as a staple at London's first punk rock haven, The Roxy. After releasing a series of acclaimed singles, the band released their first full length, Crossing The Red Sea With The Adverts, which included the singles 'Safety In Numbers' and 'No Time To Be 21'. These singles and this full length helped establish The Adverts as one of the first commercially successful punk bands of all time. Singer/guitarist T.V. Smith proves himself to be an incredible songwriter, crafting songs that have endured more than 20 years and the sentiments of those songs remain relevant today. My favorite track on this record is 'Bombsite Boy', ("I don't believe you have to be an idiot to get somewhere these days. I don't believe you have to sell your soul and do what everyone says. I'm happy where I am.")