Sunday, May 3, 2009

I Sacrificed My Brand New Shirt

If you're asking me, Penfold are the great lost band from the 90's Danbury scene. I'm not sure how long they were together, though it was probably only a couple of years or so. I was able to see them only once, and by then they weren't even Penfold anymore.

Penfold sounded a lot like Slint, and A Minor Forest, and whatever else was going on in post-rock at the time. I'm only guessing that 1996 is when this was recorded, since that's when Sean Sheridan (of Atlas) first mentioned to me that he had been recording songs with them on the 4-track that he had set up in his attic. Besides "Turtle Dreams" (which was supposed to come out as an album on M.U.D.D., I'm pretty sure), Penfold has one other thing in their catalog-- a compilation track called "The Ram and Crab Make Rotten Companions", which might even be better than this demo.

Once I heard the demo I was fairly pumped up to write something about Penfold in my zine, and I had an agreement with one of the guys in Penfold that I was going to interview them as soon as I had a chance to see them play. That took a while, since they didn't seem to play out very often, but eventually they had a show in Danbury, in the little front room at Tuxedo Junction.

The show didn't go exactly as I had planned. Unbeknownst to me, Penfold had all of a sudden changed their name to "Emo As Anything", or something like that, to go along with a new set of Jade Tree-ish emocore songs that were nothing like their demo. They were still selling "Turtle Dreams" at the show, which had since been pressed up as a CD, but wherever it had read "Penfold" on the CD there was now a sticker with their new band name placed over it. Obviously, any ideas I had about Penfold being the next great Danbury band had just been knocked completely sideways. I didn't take any pictures, and I think I left without even bothering to introduce myself.

The Penfold demo is still friggin' great, though, and if you want to hear a Connecticut band knock out the post-rock well before a lot of other bands started doing the same thing, give this thing a listen. I'm not sure where everyone from Penfold ended up after this (they were all pretty young at the time, like 19 or 20), except that Dave, the bass player, went on to be in a really cool band with Matt and Brett from Her Tears, called Champion Collision.

click for enlarged view


I've taken down the individual 320kbps files, but here's all six songs
in one file:

Penfold - Turtle Dreams (1996, 128 kbps).zip


Anonymous said...


I agree this is the best thing we did... and it was pressed on CD and Vinyl. I will gladly send you a copy on either format. We had to change our name because of another band called Penfold... but that was short lived. Strange, I remember playing almost all of the songs from that record at the Tuxedo show (we had only learned 2 or 3 new songs with our new drummer at that point) Sorry if you left before we played Skipper... which we always did. If anybody want's a free CD or LP of this they can contact me: themilford(at)yahoo

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah! Thanks for the kind words and for giving a shit.


Brushback said...

Wow-- if this was pressed on vinyl then that would be an awesome thing to have.

Yeah, I knew of the Penfold from New Jersey, but I figured the name change was for other reasons.

And, actually, I stayed for the entire set and was milling around afterwards, but I don't think I talked to anyone. Maybe you guys did play most of the songs on the record (I kinda do remember "Skipper"), but really, the delivery was completely different.

Brushback said...

Did MUDD end up being the one that pressed the vinyl? All these years of buying records and going to practically every record store in Connecticut, and I've never seen a copy anywhere.

David said...

Yeah Mudd released it. It was available at all the hometown haunts (Gerosa, Trash, Volt, etc)... Only distro'ed like 20 copies at the time though and I managed to get it into some stores in PA and NY. I have like 100 of these at mom's in CT. :O

I would love to send you one... get in touch with me somehow... e-mail cryptically posted at the top. :)

BTW: we had a different drummer at the end of our life and at that show... the Grumpy Italian Eric Neuser (Shut Up Christine, Low Brau fame) replaced the Nervous Jew Matthew Johnston. We were trying to be a little heavier and mathy-er... Oh well.

Brushback said...

Yeah, I'm definitely going to shoot you some cash for that vinyl.

David said...

No Cash! just your addy.