auto-inserted 09-17-2014 15:56:46
9.99 In Stock
During their incredibly short lifespan, Washington D.C. post-hardcore unit Rites of Spring rose up as one of the first emo bands, setting the framework for decades of evolution in punk culture. Lead singer Guy Picciotto and drummer Brendan Canty would join forces with Ian MacKaye to form Fugazi and even further expand the musical boundaries of bands rooted in punk subcultures, but for a handful of months before that, Rites of Spring burnt dazzlingly bright and incredibly fast. The band is said to have only played 15 live shows, total, and their entire studio output before the release of this 1984 demo tape was limited to just one album and one single. The six songs on this demo were cut at the same studio as the rest of their material, Dischord's Inner Ear Studios, before the band even performed in front of an audience. As the demo was cut in the same room as the rest of their discography, there's not much difference in fidelity, but there's definitely a dip in both the urgency and sense of excitement on these demo versions when compared to their more realized album counterparts. Possibly the band was less practiced or less invested in the material in its earliest phases, or maybe the recording session was a rushed one-day affair, but songs like "End on End" and "Hain's Point" feel sloppier, distracted, and generally lacking the fire that defined them on album. Picciotto's vocals remain ferocious and committed, but less confidently so. Even still, he's the star of the show, belting out obtuse personal poetry over shaky drums and slightly metal guitar tones. Some of the songs are still pretty hard to mess up, though. Open-hearted songs like "Remainder" and "Persistent Vision" blend the same foggy jangle of early R.E.M. with the loud-and-fast aesthetic of the shifting D.C. punk scene. These moments are what made Rites of Spring so powerful, and even though the majority of the demos pale in comparison to the spirit and tight presentation of the album that came later, as an artifact of a band essential to the development of emo, it's still more valuable than a lot of what came in its wake.