Wednesday, October 27, 2004

"Sinker" (b/w "Rebuilding" & "Anxiety Asking") 7" 45 RPM
Self-released (no label, no copyright info but... a lyric sheet, yah!)

: Sinker (189 kbps VBR, 4.4 Mb) - Ignition

Ever pull out one of those records you haven't listened to for years and put it on and go, "so why did I like this?"... that's the initial impression I had but now after about an hour of listening to it, digitizing it, editing it, minimally denoising it, it's sounding a whole lot better. I'm liking this post-emo-HC slight slab of vinyl again... slobber drool... it's like finding an old one night stand and even remembering her name.

I bought this in the basis of a live set I saw back in the late '80s at the late, beloved & behated d.c. space and it was a good set and "Sinker" was the highlight of it. The band featured a number of DC luminaries, past and future - by future, I mean Chris Thomson, the bassist, went on to form my favorite obscure Dischord band that no one seems to like round here Circus Lupus, perhaps my last Dischord record bought!). Alec MacKaye of course, singer for Faith, The Untouchables (their "Nic Fit" later covered by Sonic Youth) and Dante Ferrando of the late great Gray Matter. Oh, and how about Chris Bald, poor Chris, Ian MacKaye's used emo-tissue (Embrace) and ass-kicking target?

"Sinker" was their first 7" later collected with the other 7" in an LP called Complete Services so its like their debut song (on vinyl). The songs lyrics can be summarized as 'The Daily Grind Sucks, Man' and I don't mean that cool, hip coffee shop where those nice kids hang out and seem like they don't have jobs. In typical Dischordian fashion, Ignition then scolds and sneers us automatons that don't happen to work at their brother's cool record label with: "Your once noble thoughts and ideals/are useless as stripped gears."

Ouch, maaaan... hurting me... I've got emo, too, maaan.

We daily grinders can chuckle as the next song, "Rebuilding," in that it basically contradicts "Sinker" by declaring that "There's no point in trying / to reach the unattainable" oh damn, and here I was going to quit and design fliers for Positive Force. Oh, okay, sorry about that. Not worth it.

Still, getting beyond the typical puerile nature of the lyrics, and even if the production is a bit sludgey and bass heavy (damn you once again Don Z! What's that you say? He's your God? Try another engineer for once... but, but, but my Dischordian head would explode... )... oh where was I, yes, even though the production is wanting, ahem, I like the Baldian guitar swipes (I'm an underdog kinda sticker-up-for and anyone who got kicked in the ass by Ian deserves my support) and ol' Dante's drum pounding, the cuts and stops in the song... it's judged ALRIGHT BY ME (although you really should check out those Grisen Skriker cuts first - see below).

Interesting that it was self-released given this is Bald's first record after Embrace ... and I wonder what's behind Alec's decision to go with this band when apparently Ian asked him to join what became Fugazi... hoofah...

  • Here's Dischord's Ignition page (their Dischord releases, band line-up and a place to buy the LP). Although the on-line store is confusing, it appears most of the Ignition catalogue is OOP.
  • Here's a 1988 interview with Alec and Chris Thomson (it snarkily says "Mr. Guitar wasn't present".... double ouch!). Alec notes here that he had a choice to join Ian's new band but turned it down for Ignition so I didn't just pull that out of my ass.

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