Words On Music
One of the perils of being a moderately popular indie band is that there’s always the chance your underfunded label will tank and drag your back catalog with it. It’s happened over and over to groups of various importance, and these days we’re seeing more and more of these almost entirely forgotten bands being resurrected via reissues to reclaim relevancy and their piece of the “influenced by” pie. For Against are one of these bands, and their claim to tenuous fame places them at the nexus of post-punk, southern rock jangle and proto-shoegaze. It might sound like a questionable confluence of sounds, but the trio knew how and when to flex each separate musical muscle to get the fullest effect. As with most bands from the late ’80s that pedaled depressive alternative music, their rhythm section was rooted almost totally in Joy Division’s tribal stomp and wiry, nimble bass work. This left the guitarist, Harry Dingman III, with the charge of sound navigation: when to keep the riffs finger-picked and when to introduce pink noise squalls. For Against might never have been as A-level as the bands they drew influence from or those they inspired, but from a rock history perspective, they’re still an important piece in the puzzle of modern music. It’s nice to have access to this album again.
Words On Music: www.words-on-music.com