Rites of Spring – Rites of Spring
Acquired: Love Garden, Used, 2007
Apparently emo was born the same year as me. That's a lie, I don't know shit about emo really, other than it seemed to come in waves and Rites of Spring and Embrace are always touted as the progenitors of the pseudo-genre. And when I first heard this in high school, I was half expecting it to sound like Thursday or something like that. I knew Ian MacKaye was somehow associated (he produced the record and put it out on Dischord, and the band later morphed with MacKaye to form Fugazi) and that was enough for me, as MacKaye is my favorite Ian of all time (Followed by: 2.) Ian Curtis 3.) Ian McKellan 4.) Ian Holm 5.) Ian Brown). Anyway, it's obvious why this is a classic. It sounds like you can reach out and touch the music (that sounds really lame). That is, there's a tactile quality to it. Like reading a book or something. Guy Picciotto's vocals sound so fucking good and completely envelop you. Brendan Canty's drums are at times restrained and at times fucking insane, which makes “End on End” one of the rawest, most unhinged (yet flawlessly constructed) pieces of music I've ever heard. The guitars wail without ever getting wanky, it's a pretty excellent record and I definitely wish I'd paid more attention to it when I was 18. “Post-Hardcore” is a better tag, I like it, although it's really terrible that all those awful screamo bands kind of rose from this. Yes, Picciotto is kind of screaming but it's really more of a shout. Like hardcore a little slower, still punk rock though unlike those pussies who later came along and sang lines for all the girls I liked to write on their Xanga pages.
Here's the motherfucking jam, "For Want Of," live: