Friday, December 28, 2007

Endgame - Exeter Demo

A few years ago I received a copy of the Endgame/Monument split in the mail to review for my zine Midwest Assault. The zine fizzled out before I had a chance to review it as my laziness outweighed my inspiration, but I wasn't really wowed by either band to be honest. They both had a melodic hardcore vibe with a post-hardcore tinge that was not quite up to par. The potential was there, but neither had hit their stride by any means.

Fast forward to the summer of 2007 - A new batch of Endgame demos surface on the Bridge 9 Messageboard touted as being "for fans of Strength 691, Lifetime, etc" and allegations were correct. The songs had strong influences from both bands, but had more than enough character to stand on their own. A few years of honing their craft turned this mediocre melodic hardcore band into this exciting band capable of producing my favorite demo of 2007. The five songs here are the kind that make want to start a record label just to release their record and completely ignore what may or may not come. They remind me of summer road trips with the windows down and being 16 and listening to Jersey's Best Dancer's for the first time and totally in awe that a hardcore band could still be melodic and catchy without compromising anything. If this sounds like your sort of thing, check it out. I'm eagerly awaiting their new EP coming out on February 5th.

EDIT: Unbeknownst to me, Distracted, the new Endgame EP, is the same 5 songs from the Exeter sessions. So, out of respect for the band, I have taken down the zip file of the entire demo and replaced it with a download for the song "Piece of Mind." Definitely check out their EP when it comes out on Feb. 5th.

Endgame - Piece of Mind from the Exeter Demo

Endgame on Myspace

Order - Split with Ultra Dolphins

Order (of the Dying Orchid) is a band I discovered during my tenure writing for Punk Planet. Every month and a half or so I'd receive a box of 10 records to review and usually one or two were pretty tolerable. Most however, were obnoxiously boring to listen to, look at and difficult to write about because they were so uninspiring (even in an overtly negative way). One record that stuck out the most in my year and a half writing for PP was the Order side of their split with the Ultra Dolphins. I was finishing my reviews late the night they were due (as I tend to do with everything) and when I put their side on it made me instantly nostalgic for my formative years of getting into punk rock. Not because they resembled any of the music I heard at that time or that they were even a fast punk band, but because they had an urgency and were the type of band I should have been listening to growing up. Now that I've established myself as a cynical mid-20's know-it-all I rarely come across bands I feel an instant connection to, but I certainly felt it with Order. They blend jittery late-70's post-punk, 80's Dischord aesthetic and 60's psych-pop into this interesting, distorted mess I can't get enough of. I imagine them to be the kind of band you'd see at at a hot, crowded party in shitty part of town and though they might be a drunken disaster, you walk away in a similar haze feeling like you've just seen the best band ever.

Order - Split with Ultra Dolphins

Order's Myspace

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The Comfortable People - Weight of the World & In August, 1977

At the request of my friend Matt, I have uploaded the other two Comfortable People EP's, In August, 1977 and Weight of the World. The latter contains an excellent cover of Neutral Milk Hotel's classic "The King of Carrot Flowers Pt One." The former has a cover of Lee Hazelwood's "These Boots are Made for Walking. If you checked out Sings Different but Familiar in my last post, you know what to expect - tuneful indie-pop with lush twee tendencies. These two eps are more of the same.

The Comfortable People - Weight of the World

The Comfortable People - In August, 1977

The Comfortable People on Myspace