Sunday, January 11, 2009

These Footholds Give Me Places To Stand

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Honor Role always impressed me even when I couldn't figure out what they were trying to do ("Rictus" at the end of side two, for instance), although I gotta admit that their first hardcore EP was one of the worst records ever. Other than that, though, their late-'80s output was amazing, with some of the most overtly head-knocking guitar work you'll ever bear witness to-- check out "Absolve" and "Following Footprints" here, if you need proof of that.

You could try to make the claim that a lot of what happened in Difficult Indie Rock in the '90s owed itself to bands like Honor Role, except that I'm pretty sure most of the prevalent beardo/noisecore people I ran into back then (for instance) weren't even aware of Honor Role, so that's not gonna float. If you've never checked them out before, though, I think you'll find that Honor Role are definitely one of those bands that will challenge your perspective about everything that followed after them, and I mean that in a good way.

Honor Role -

"Listening To Sally"


"Following Footprints"

"Swing It"

"Salty Tears"

(these files are now listen-only)

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Mr. HCI said...

One of the best bands ever. Their transformation from Godawful to Godhead was something truly inspiring to witness. I'm so glad I was in the area back then and got to see them many times.

Brushback said...

Yeah, I'm sorry I never got to see them live, because I'm sure the guitar work would've been absolutely crushing.

It is pretty amazing how they went from awful to stunning in the matter of one or two records, and then they were gone before most people had a chance to catch up. Plus, a lot of people didn't appreciate Bob Schick's lyrics and singing, which might be why they were so overlooked.

ib said...

Simply. Fucking brilliant.

I am listening to this for the first time ever, and I must say: I like it a lot.

Brushback said...

One thing about you, ib-- you've always had good taste in music.

lex dexter said...

I always thought the Bitch Magnet/Seam guy was from Honor Role. But it's actually a Breadwinner connection, right?

Either way, a great alb. An english prof gave me a C90 with 'Rictus' on one side and the Red Krayola (avec Ubu) "Solider Talk' LP. That cassette was enough to make the prevailing pigfuck math-rock of the 90s seem rather tame, yes.

Brushback said...

Yes, Breadwinner, and Butterglove, plus Seth Harris went on to Kepone (whose "Ugly Dance" LP I posted a while back). There's a bunch of other bands that also splintered out of Honor Role, but they're mostly just minutiea.

Sean said...

You're really putting the thaw into January! Yet another Homestead ringer to covet in retrospect. I just realized how much Arcwelder sounds like Honor Role to my calloused ears.

I did get to see Coral on a road trip through the Carolinas in the early 90s with (if I correctly recall) Spatula and Rubbermaid, but didn't make the Bob Schick connection for a year or two. Ahhhh, pre-internet blissful ignorance.

panzan said...

Thanks for posting "Swing It" As you may know it was left off the CD anthology "Album." I don't have the tech to rip from my LPs right now.

Related to that, I have never been able to find a digital copy of Coral's first LP "Pillow Talk." If you or any readers have the means I would be grateful enough to trade a digital copy of their second album "Altamont in Dub."

panzan said...

I went ahead and bought a cheapo copy of Pillow Talk. Get yours here:

Brushback said...

The mp3 files on this post are now listen-only (non-downloadable) files. For those of you who missed the boat, I will do my best to respond to any e-mailed requests for the original files.

Lightning Baltimore said...

Should anyone stumble back across this, "Swing It" is currently available for streaming and download (at 320kbps) on my blog here.

Brushback said...

Oohh, I haven't visited your blog in a while.... time to go over there and see what's up

Anonymous said...

amazing fucking band, love this pissy college rock stuff. "it's a thankless job, makes me lie to my friends" is something I quote often.. listening to sally is in my top 10 songs ever. ALBUM is essential.

also i love their early hardcore stuff. i know it's cheesy but it sounded like crucifucks with some of the rubbery bass lines and the ridiculous musical interplay where no one could keep time with each other. the solos in particular were amazing rhough. they sound like the songs were slowed down then the solos were put over top and then the songs were sped up to the original tempo and the guitar solos were now magically a bit faster than any normal human could play. cuz some of those solos are just insane but they have a weird ass not-quite-right sound to em.

the only band i can reccomnd for the "pissy college rock" sound is probably get into it by tora tora torrance. you might be put off by the vocals who is snotty and bratty as FUCK sounding but the music is so fucking mean that it's worth it.