October 22, 2012

Rites of Spring "Six Song Demo" Out Now

Rites of Spring were among the most important and beloved bands to emerge from the DC underground music scene in the mid-80s. Formed by Guy Picciotto (vocals/guitar), Mike Fellows (bass), Brendan Canty (drums), and Eddie Janney (guitar) in 1984, the quartet released a self-titled LP and a 7" single before disbanding in 1986. They were central to what came to be known as "Revolution Summer," a period of redefinition and creative burst from the DC scene in 1985. Before that - before they even played a show - the band recorded a six-song demo tape at Inner Ear with Don Zientara and Ian MacKaye.

Though widely bootlegged, this session has never been released and captures Rites of Spring in the band's earliest stages. Once the band started playing out, the songs gained velocity and intensity (see the 7-minute plus version of "End on End" that closes their LP), but many of the elements that defined their music - frenzied energy, sharp melodies, and introspective lyrics - were already very much in place. The release has been mastered from the original tapes and is presented exactly as it was on those cassettes in 1984 complete with the tape collages and assorted audio-graffiti. Members went on to play in Happy Go Licky, Fugazi, Royal Trux, and Silver Jews. Six Song Demo is available from Dischord Records on CD and 10" + MP3.