Rites of Spring

Emo Numero Uno
*Rites Of Spring
*All Through A Life EP

Rites Of Spring - Dischord 1985.
Rating = 7

Fugazi's Guy Picciotto and Brendan Canty used to be in a band called Rites Of Spring that they were in before they were in a band with Michael Hampton called One Last Wish, from which they formed the roots of Fugazi with Ian MacKaye who was once in a band called Teen Idles with Jeff Nelson and Nathan Strejcek before Nathan sang for Youth Brigade with Danny Ingram and Bert Queiroz after Danny and Bert were in The Untouchables with Ian's brother Alec MacKaye, before Ian and Jeff formed Minor Threat with Brian Baker before Brian was in Dag Nasty with Dave Smalley after Dave was in DYS but after Brian was in Government Issue, leaving before Jay Robbins joined and before Jay left to form Jawbox before Brian was in Bad Religion with Greg Hetson after Greg was in Red Cross with Ron Reyes before Greg joined the Circle Jerks with Keith Morris after Keith was in Black Flag with Greg Ginn before Greg formed Gone with Simeon Cain and Andrew Weiss before Simeon and Andrew joined Rollins Band with Henry Rollins and Chris Haskett, after Henry was in State of Alert with Wendell Blow, Michael and Ivor Hanson before Wendell replaced Chris in Iron Cross, before Mark Haggerty and Dante Ferrando left Iron Cross to join Gray Matter with Geoff Turner and Steve Niles before Geoff, Mark and Steve left to form Three with Jeff after Jeff left Minor Threat and before Jeff formed the High-Back Chairs and Mark joined Severin, as well as after Henry played in Black Flag with Greg after Dez Cadena decided he didn't want to sing anymore which was after Ron left the band, which was also after Ron left Red Cross to replace Keith, who left to form the Circle Jerks around the same time that Brian, Jeff and Ian formed Minor Threat with Lyle Preslar before Lyle joined the Meatmen, which was either before or after Brian joined the Meatmen but before Ian left Minor Threat to form Embrace with Michael, Ivor and Chris Bald after Ivor, Michael and Chris played with Alec and Eddie Janney in The Faith before Michael formed One Last Wish with Guy and Brendan, and Alec formed Ignition with Dante, which was after Eddie recorded the Skewbald single with Ian and Jeff after Jeff and Ian left Minor Threat but before Jeff and Ian reformed Minor Threat with Steve Hansgen before Steve formed Second Wind with Bert and Rich Moore from Double O after Bert left Youth Brigade and Eddie joined Rites of Spring with Guy and Brendan before Eddie, Guy and Brendan formed Happy Go Licky after Ian and Jeff left Minor Threat to record the Egghunt single before Ian formed Fugazi with Brendan and Guy of Happy Go Licky, One Last Wish and Rites of Spring. But before I get sidetracked, I'd like to tell you a bit about the self-titled Rites of Spring LP.

It's widely considered to be the first Emo album ever! Have you heard of Emo? EVERYONE'S talking about Emo! The Township of Emo is located in Lash Township, along the Rainy River, directly north of the state of Minnesota.

Another interesting thing about Rites of Spring is that singer Guy Piccolotitty was a very emotional frontman, crying his lyrics and shouting out to the heavens for true feeling and love in this cold world of shit called Washington DC (home of our nation's newest serial killer, George W. Bush). But you're frucked up the asu if you think that all there was to Rites of Spring was a singer who lost his voice halfway through the album. There was PLENTY more than that. First of all, the album sounds like it's all sweaty - the drums are as loud as the trebly distorted guitar and inaudible bass, creating a brash live-sounding wall of fast- moving noise. Not hardcore-speed, please, but still fast. Fast like the second Minor Threat album, but with much louder drums and more buried guitars. And secondly of all, the best songs have amazing, timeless, anthemic, emotionally charged notes-and-chords riffs that stay with you for years! Unfortunately, the other half of the album is just sweaty fast chord slashing that sounds exactly like the good stuff but without the hooks. Plus, a few of the songs drag on for eight hundred thousand years when a mere decade would have been sufficient.

That is my summation of the Rites of Spring album. It's good! But definitely no Fugazi.

Granted, I could say the same thing about 99.8% of the albums that have ever been released. Fugazi is fantastic!

Reader Comments

Rites of Spring, ain't my thing. Fugazi? Ain't too jazzy.

May I accuse the guy above me of being a fucking idiot? Isn't he aware that it's pronounced "Foog-OZZY", and that they are, in fact pretty goddamned jazzy, especially on my favorite album by them End Hits(10/10, everybody buy it today!)? Sorry, someone had to point that out.

About the album - it's good, but not consistently great all the way through like Fugazi tend to be. Sort of sounds like they're still trying to work out a style of their own. Not entirely ready to make a record. Kind of hard to believe this little band inspired an entire subgenre on its own listening to it today, but I imagine it must've sounded pretty wild & off-kilter back in the day. Guy can barely hit any notes at this point, but there's so much unbridled, passionate energy in his voice that it hardly matters. On the best songs, he's screaming about as loud as a human being can without ever sounding like an angsty violent person trying to pick a fight with everybody in the room. Think about that; raising one's voice to a fever pitch, but not in anger. Seems like a simple idea until you realize most vocalists aren't capable of such a thing. As for the songs, "For Want Of", "All There Is", "Spring", and "Persistent Vision" are the greatest with their fast, catchy assrocking riffs & desperatingly anguished lyrics. Then there are the songs like "Drink Deep", "Nudes", and "End On End"(does it even HAVE an end?) that start off interestingly, but are simply way too long and still manage to get boring even with Guy spewing his guts all over the top.

So not perfect(I'm seeing the lowest of low 8s in my mind), but the best moments are mindblowing enough to make up for the redundant wastes of time that are the weaker songs. And millions better than the shitty whine-core bands of today that the mainstream press insists upon labelling "emo" just because music pop culture is dying for a new fad.

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All Through A Life EP - Dischord 1986.
Rating = 7

When famed psychologist Dr. Guy Picadilly (pronounced "Guy") invented a state of being called "emotional," he was as surprised as we were to watch it heat up into a bright flame of punk rock conformity. That's why he decided that the Rites of Spring had to make like Stravinsky's corpse and break up. Their final limelight was this brief four-song Extended Play, which sounds not really all that much like the previous full-length! The production is clear and studioey, NOT sweaty and cymbal-snarey like the LP. And ol' Guy seems more calm than emotive, kinda tunelessly reciting the words a little too loudly for the music. And most bigly of all, this EP is NOT punk or hardcore at all. It's just straight melodic guitar pop, midtempo with very little angst or anger. Calm, nice and relaxing. Arpeggios, notes, chords. A light chorus on the guitar, lots of soaring notes. The melodies are catchy and follow in the tradition of the last record, but they all feel a little slow -- like they would be REALLY powerful as fast, emotional scorchers, but the drummer wanted to make a record his mom would like. Well I hope she DID, A-hole!

No no, that's the drummer's name: A-hole Canty

Say! Did you hear the news? Today was my last day at the job I've worked for the past seven years. They laid me off. ME!!!! OFF!!!!!! ME?!?!?!?!? I'm Mark D. Prindle, with a PhD in AssGrab!!! What am I supposed to do NOW? I don't see Guy Pississippi offering me a job in Fugazi. I can play guitar! What's his problem? THAT'S IT! I've had it! I'm going on strike. Much like Gandhi except selfisher, I refuse to eat a single drop of food until somebody out there finds me a good job. If I die, it's YOUR fault!!!! And that's what I'm having my wife tell the police!!!!

I'm also gonna have her plant DRUGS on you!!!!

And a PENIS!!!!!

Penises are still illegal, aren't they? I know they were a few years ago when I kept trying to get Jake Lloyd to sign one for me.

Did you enjoy that? That was a penis joke! My very first one ever! If it proves to be popular among my readers, hopefully we'll be seeing a WHOLE LOT MORE of them in the weeks to come!

Reader Comments

I like this style! Doesn't make me wanna bang my fists into the floor until they bleed(or jump out of a really tall tree with Brendan Canty watching from the ground, transfixed), but it's such a nice happy bouncy catchy chimey weepy style that I tap my foot to it just as good as the best stuff on the last LP, despite the slowness of the whole thing. When the riffs are this good(good tone+good melody-line+good rhythm), I don't tend to complain about tempo. PLUS the first one didn't make me feel like taking all my clothes off and dancing like THIS! I'd probably get bored if I had to sit through a whole album of this stuff, but the songs are consistently great enough to hold my attention 4 times. Guy's still tone deaf, but the lyrics he's coming up with are improving, and he's still shrieking like his heart's getting ripped out while he's on the mic. It's a little too clear this stuff wasn't intended for live performing, though. Canty(as in "can't he hit any harder than that?") is an excellent drummer, but he sounds tired on this recording. Like he's trying to avoid interfering with Guy's melodramatic, madman ravings of grief too much. And you can't really hear the band that did the debut ROSLP(Godammit, that doesn't spell anything!) standing there politely on stage, smiling and staying very still so they can hit each guitar-note perfectly in these songs. Of all the music Guy Pidgeeoto's ever created, this is the least fall-around-all-over-the-stage-and-hurt-one-selfable. But it's still a 9 anyway.

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