One of my favorite official releases! Of the 3 night run (June 7-9, 77), June 9th is one of my all time favorite shows. The Help on the Way>Slipknot>Franklin’s Tower is out of this world…some of Jerry’s best late 70′s era guitarwork, imo.
Fugazi was always sort of like the Beatles of the punk scene, so it makes sense that Ian MacKaye’s band with his wife Amy Farina would seem a little bit like Paul McCartney’s early solo work. The Evens is far more cynical, of course, but there’s something about the ragged, mathy, husband/wife vocals that evokes Ram. The entire instrumentation of the record begins and ends with the two voices, Ian’s Baritone guitar, and Amy’s drums. No overdubs, no distortion, no bass. Any fans of Fugazi’s final record the Argument will find no surprises here. The quieter songs on that disc form the basis of Ian’s guitarwork, while Amy’s drumming is filled with angular shuffles. The lyrical content is vintage MacKaye–anticapitalist, anticonsumerism, antigovernment–but he’s never been more charming then here, particularly on Dinner With the President, wherein he asks why he’s never been invited over “(I live in town,” he says. “It’s not geography”) only to reveal the reason in the third verse (“I know just what I’d do…stand up and yell as the meal is served”).
While there’s nothing here that approaches the sheer heft of Fugazi’s monolithic catalogue, it would be a mistake to dismiss the Evens. Ian is just as sharp and witty as ever, and Amy is as formidable a writing partner as anyone else.
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Minus The Bear are an alternative/indie rock band from Seattle, formed in 2001. Since then, they have released 5 full lengths and a handful of EPs. They use changing time signatures, something that is normally employed in mathcore and math rock. However, their overall sound strays quite far from the bands that truly exemplify math rock. Minus The Bear use a fair amount of electronic elements and experimentation to set them apart from their contemporaries, and forming a niche of their own. Previously, their guitarist played in Botch, the iconic mathcore/metalcore band, and I feel like that experience opened up new doors when it comes to songwriting and the guitarwork for this band. This is shown in the complexity of the guitars itself, something you could find on any Botch track.
FFO: Pinback, Circa Survive, Cursive, Manchester Orchestra