Saturday, January 10, 2015

Random Shelf Pull - ARTICLES OF FAITH "In This Life" LP

I was inspired to do this by my friend Greg, who also does these great blogs - and - as well as drumming in SILENT ERA with me. He started playing every 7" on his shelf, beginning from the end of the alphabet, as an exercise to weed some stuff out, but is taking the time to write a little about each record along the way. It's a really cool project and I recommend you check it out here

Sometimes being an avid record collector/enthusiast makes it hard to choose what to listen to. I'm one of those freaks who requires music to be playing about 95% of the time I'm at home, and the wall of records sort of blurs my ability to choose what to play, so I often just select something at random and throw it on. This trick has produced an array of results, from rediscovering a long-forgotten classic, to a first time discovery of a brilliant record that got filed too early, to a record that I actually just don't like that much and is occupying precious space in our living room. OR, sometimes I simply throw the record on and walk off to go cook, clean, make the bed (which I'm pretty bad at remembering to do), and forget to pay attention to the sounds. What a waste, right? Waste of awesome sounds, I mean. So I'm borrowing Greg's idea of writing a little something about each random pull to engage more with my collection. That's what the vinyl record is all about right? 

First pull is the fucking brilliant second album from 1986 by the legendary Chicago-based ARTICLES OF FAITH. It's quite a bit more melodic and has a "softer" feel that their earlier works, but retains an extremely high level of intensity. I was 3 years old when In This Life was made, but I've done a lot of "research" over the years and it seems to me that this record is an incredible anomaly of its time. The arrangement and pulse of "Doesn't Have To Be That Way" is challenging and curious, but still manages to hook you in and make you believe it's totally natural. I hear pure honesty and intuition, which creates a sound that was a result of a special evolution and can't be copied. Few voices in punk can match Vic Bondi's. This is also one of the key punk LPs that reminds me how important melody is to me, and consistently pulls me away from the atonal and nihilistic end of the spectrum of punk/hardcore. I'd never let this one go!


  1. Both you and Greg have got the right idea. I was just thinking to myself recently, "If I had to grab only a car-full of music what would I take/leave behind?" A hard question when one starts digging through years & years of stuff. Honestly, I would be content with just having nothing but current/old MRR radio shows because differentiating between sentimental value and essential need could lead to cardiac arrest. And to top that off - 2015 is just beginning. Looks like Greg is just starting to hit 'S's. Good grief, man. Ha

  2. I moved my record collection out here from Texas 3 1/2 years ago in a Chevy Cavalier, which fully packed it out, and realized at the time that I shouldn't ever have more records than that. They visited the Grand Canyon with me and it dawned on me that many record collections don't get to visit there!