Friday, December 26, 2008


The Rachel's consists of a main trio: Rachel Grimes on piano, the late Rodan's Jason Noble on bass and organ, and Christian Frederickson playing violin. In addition, each of their album features various horn players, percussionists, and other musicians playing what eventually makes up a small orchestra. Orchestral is one of the best ways to describe this band. At the heart, there is absolutely a post-punk approach to the songwriting and cadence, although the intricate composure of the songs, chord and time changes as well as the sheer diversity in the instrumentation makes the album more like a orchestra rather than a punk band. Selenography is one of their best albums, but I will post the first album I heard of theirs.

The Sea & The Bells (1996)
I first listened to the Rachel's, particularly this album, one day as I was falling asleep, trying to take a nap after school. The melodies were enchanting. I suspect this may have been a concept album, the songs too powerfully create an atmosphere of an open ocean to go unnoticed. You feel the ebb and flow of the currents, the high and low tides, and the crushing of the surf. As I was drifting off to sleep, I suddenly awoke truly frightened by the ghostly and haunting melodies of some of the later songs. It isn't often that an album has the power not only to create such positive but also harrowing emotions in the listener. Truly a great album. Check out their other albums, you won't be disappointed!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Face to Face

I listened to these albums last month for the first time in probably 12 years. It was great. I remembered all the words and it brought back some great memories of playing in my first bands. One of my earliest bands when I was in 9th grade covered Disconnected for a little while. So fun! I actually saw them in a small bar in Philly in 1995. They were recording a live album that night and I think you can hear my friend Ed yell about the place smelling like feet on the album...

Don't Turn Away (1992)
This is the first Face to Face album I heard. It has the quintessential photo of the guy with his head resting on crossed arms (see also Minor Threat, Neurosis, etc). This is by far their rawest album, and many say their best. Originally released on Dr. Strange records, and re-released on Fat Wreck Chords.

Big Choice (1995)
This is a poppier album with less of an edge. This is more melodic, and the songs tend to get stuck in my head more so than Don't Turn Away. Really fun album, if I ever start lifting weights this will be the album I listen to during working out... How I remember all the lyrics to these songs while not listening for 12 years is crazy. I wish I remembered other things half as well...