Saturday, April 16, 2005

State of the Union: Soulside

Dischord 32, 1989

Someone real smart and real dead (I believe Pliny the Elder quoting a war hero) said that "the ultimate valour is to vanquish fortune" and those are certainly words to live by. But where you and I see fortune, or maybe where I see fortune, others see "slavery" or "apartheid". The solutions offered to these serious charges by Positive Force is to boycott Morton's salt and nearly everything else and to live a simple non-consumerist life (except for buying Dischord records).

So in addition to no drugs, sex, alcohol - no gas or fast food for you. Thanks, baldy!

As for the music: Eric already identified Three's "Swann Street" as a standout and I tend to concur, mainly because it is a slight glimpse, if you care, of what an acoustic version of a Minor Threat song might have sounded like. But it veers a bit too far for me into Guitar Mass land - just replace some of the lyrics with "holy holy" and replace the guitar solo with a recorder solo (those little flutes) and it would be indistinguishable from Saturday night church nightmares of yore.

I almost converted the Fidelity Jones song ("Blood Stone Burn") as well because, well, Tomas Squip and Dug of Beefeater and their crazy ass religiosity (sample lyric: " till the sky split and light return / let evil reap evil and blood stone burn") but then I realized I had enough songs in my playlist with guitarists who didn't know a fret from a hole in a guitar. Ah, where have you gone, Fred Smith?! Another decent cut (tho' muddily mixed) is Ignition's "Anger Means" but since I've already digitized that from the single, I passed on this one.

Despite Soulside's Bobby Sullivan's crushingly obvious lyrics, "Name in Mind", it's a fine blare of a song showcasing the talented Scott McCloud ( of the even finer bands - Girls Against Boys, New Wet Kojak) on guitar - Scott had the ability and still does to magically reach out of the headphones and pull your guts up into your brain and squeeze them out of your ears. And that's cool.

The rest of the record is disappointment -- the most laughable being Broken Siren's demurring whine about street harassment ("No You Cannot Go"); Kingface's cut is no standout and those fancypants Fugazi, as usual, underwhelm me - will I ever 'get' why people love this band?...

Despite part of the money going towards a cause that I like (ACLU), there's not much to recommend about this album beyond Soulside... but by all means check it out for yourself - it's still available on a remastered CD.

"Name in Mind" (160 kbps, 4.8 Mb) - Soulside (southern records)

Guest disclaimer from Republic of Replicants: Any MP3s on my site are available for a limited time only and are here for sampling purposes- so check them out. And if you like what you hear, go out and support the artist and purchase the CD. If you are the creator or copyright owner of a song or anything else that might be posted here, [and don't like it] please contact by sending an e-mail to me.

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Eric said...

Eh, more "hits" than "clunker"s IMO, but then again I just put up what I like. The Broken Siren track really is pretty terrible, and Fidelity Jones, well they could use some Fred Smith or something... Red Emma, yech. Bad third album Marginal Man cut, and a boring Scream cut. The rest ain't too shabby though

Republic of Replicants said...

I actually copied that disclaimer from another blog...