I was inspired to do this by my friend Greg, who also does these great blogs - remoteouposts.blogspot.com and remoteoutposts.tumblr.com - 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!