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Posts Tagged ‘Fugazi

Youth desperation and life in the suburbs (a place where a teenager really can find out how nice it is to own a guitar) always have been a drive for melancholic and desperated music, Trip Fontaine mixed this desperation with an angry attitude and intermitted melancholic melodies by forward looking moments of hope. Screamed vocals sometimes destroy this hope and the complex song structures are rebuilding it step by step. It´s rock music, but Trip Fontaine break open the boundaries of the genres, post-At-the-Drive-In, Fugazi influenced post-rock with screamo remnants and the will to explore new shores – you can´t categorize their ecstatic music with one of the typical key words. After three demos and good responses in their region around Frankfurt/Germany the band – named after the person from Jeffrey Eugenides´ novel “The Virgin Suicides”, which gained mainstream interest with the film adaptation by Sofia Coppola – released their debut “lilith” on a very very small independent record “company”, which today even any longer doesn´t exist. But even with a insufficiently promotion the record recieved good critics and soon the small, but in comparison much bigger indie “Redfield Records” rereleased the “lilith” record. From that re-release on Trip Fontaine got more and more attention in Europe, touring in Germany, Italy, Austria and Switzerland extended their fame as a good live band. In spring 2008 Trip Fontaine are going to release their second record.

In their own, not very serious words:

Trip Fontaine invented themselves by accident a while ago and are a) very close, b) very shambolic (in a tight-as-rude-things sort of way, though), and c) very shouty. They are a ROCK BAND – yes – they are NOT urban. An iconic, five man strike force on twenty-first century apathy, undoubtedly. If you book them at your ethnic-soulful-funk fest they will scare the chickens and rape your ears. Be warned. Petite Müller, Louis Kahn and Gilbert Saar are Trip Fontaine (among others). And Trip Fontaine are your musical salvation darlings. Just like the original pop star himself, they come from the Holy Land, have killer charisma and are gonna take you down. In a beginning they were mainly inspired by dancemusic and their fantasies about huge clubs where nothing was forbidden. Fantasies because they were too young to be allowed into to most of the cool clubs. They were left with the radios weekly dancemusic-feature bootlegged to cassette-tapes. You could hear that in their 2002 promo. Yet somehow the music lifts the mundane teenage neuroses into something strangely grand, beautiful, and universal. A twelve-legged whirlwind of glitter-punk riffs and aviator shades. They have already amassed a rock’n’roll charge sheet to die for, but more crucially, they’ve given rock’n’roll a much needed shot in the arm without resorting to heroin chic or cosying up to the media. Trip Fontaine love to write promo sheets.

Nummer 5 lebt!

Some bands never get the publicity they earn. Christiansen from Louisville are a typical example. This quartet formed in 1998 released two very hard to get records with the help of a good friend, in 2000 the group – which is not a christian rock band as the name may suggest (no gods, no masters!) – published the first “real” record on Eulogy Records, a company more famous for metalcore releases, not the sound Christiansen made. “Emphasizing function over design” was a good record, but nothing earth shaking. Melodic emo-influenced post-core, but too experimental to be classified as emo or even emopop. The record didn´t get much attention, maybe cause of the “wrong” record company, but the people who recognized the band looked out for them for sure, cause you could hear that there was more to come!

Revelation Records, nobody could doubt their legendary status and high quality of releases, soon recognized the band and signed them. It seemed as if Christiansen were on their way to international success and for a few month the scene began worldwide to turn heads for them. 2002 the band released the EP “forensic brothers and sisters!” as a teaser for the forthcoming full length on Revelation Records and as to expect, it was a bastard! The 6 songs were a huge step forward compared to their last record. Fueled by load guitars, danceable bass and drum interplay the group created an explosive, chaotic and powerful sound, transporting the energy of hardcore records, but without falling prey to the limitations of this genre. The younger brothers from At the Drive-in with the creative energy of Fugazi? Yes, it seems as if the band would take the world in storm and the “stylish nihilists” full length for Revelation Records from 2003 pleased everbody, the critics and the public. A good record and to say almost nobody recognized it would be exaggerated, but compared to the quality of the music it were to less, especially in Europe. After some touring it seems the band broke up or just renamed themself to Your Highness Electric, I don´t have any informations about the reasons. I never heard one song from them, but you should listen to Christiansen. And as always, if you´re interested in more, drop me a line!

Jhazz never spelled so good

The band from Fugazi bassist Joe Lally, Frodus guitarist Shelby Cinca and Frodus drummer Jason Hamacher, formerly known as The Black Sea. For their debut full length from 2004 they spent eight months of recording intermittently in their home studio and continue on the hard-edged driven way, with razor sharp guitars and pounding drums. Cinca tends to deliver his lyrics with ragged shouts, but also exhibits impressive control over his screams, which at times manage to border on melodic. Lally’s smooth, even tenor, meanwhile, offers a balance that’s highly effective in driving home the political rage that seethes within the band’s lyrics. But this rage sometimes could been presented in more poetic lyrics, they are too simplistic sometimes. But the music is still fantastic, once you hear the rhythm section starts creating solid grooves amongst all the crashing guitars, you just can’t turn it off, Decahedron grabs you by the throat right from the start! It is a memorable post-hardcore full-length debut and if you liked the Black Sea EP (or Frodus and Fugazi), you have to get this one!

Delete false culture! (file is down, leave a comment if you wish a reup)

I remembered the Black Sea 3-track EP while reading this post about Frodus, a fantastic DC-based band that invented the spazzcore sound (building the foundation for bands like At the Drive-Inn and The Blood Brothers) and was one of the most innovative groups in the indie/post-hc scene amongst other bands like Fugazi or Engine Down in the nineties. After Frodus broke up in 1999, Jason Hamacher and Shelby Cinca reunited a few month later in a new, unnamed project. They soon joined up with longtime Fugazi acquaintance Joe Lally: The Black Sea, once a project, was now a band. The Black Sea only released these 3 tracks, but just because they had to change their name and so the three guys released under the name Decahedron one full-length and one EP, both on Lovitt Records as well and more noisy and dirty, but still dark and atmospheric. If you are interested in the Decahedron full length, leave a comment to let me know!

Lovitt yells:

The songs illustrate the technical and songwriting process along The Black Sea’s dark spectrum. Dim and enigmatic, the group creates an atmosphere propelled by a ferociously compact rhythm section and enhanced by a sole wafting voice. The roiling and tumbling of the Joe Lally’s bass and Jason Hamacher’s drums create a thick veil which Shelby Cinca’s plaintive voice pierces effortlessly and tirelessly.

The Black Sea offer a unique new departure from the slashing rhythmic sound that has come to define the DC rock underground over the past decade and a half.

“I´ve become weak from staring in the stars”


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