McHank #11 – Rites of Spring – Six Song Demo McHank #11 – Rites of Spring – Six Song Demo

Let me start out by saying Dischord Records is the most important record label in my life. The fact that they’ve been going back and raiding their archives and releasing a bunch of treasures has not fallen lightly on this punk rock record nerd.

I have been overjoyed with each release from Faith, Void, Artificial Peace, Government Issue, Dag Nasty, Minor Threat and more.

Just as Dischord has always been a forward looking, progressively minded label, they have at the same time been quite aware of preserving their legacy. If the bands at first seem abrasive, the label is anything but. The label is welcoming to new listeners, letting people know, hey, you’re included if you want. Kind of like they’re saying, we’ll show you where to start, and once you’re into it, we won’t leave you hanging. Witness the 20 Years of Dischord box set and Dischord #100: The Teen Idles’ Anniversary. Especially impressive if you know how fragile and volatile many of these bands were; you realize the lengths Ian MacKaye and Don Zientara went to, to preserve the art these bands were creating. I have to also acknowledge the undertaking of mastering done by TJ Lipple— I don’t know how he does so much quality work, but I’m glad he does.

So, naturally, Rites of Spring’s Six Song Demo is a real treasure. The audio fidelity is infinitely better than I had expected. The songs sound crisp and clean, and all the little noises/tape collages between the songs sound downright like you’re lucid dreaming. The band you know from the album is already established, with no real hints of hesitation. I always like to hear demo versions of songs I know to see how much was a sketch and how firmly established the songs were. The interesting thing with these is that the songs seem in a way almost more controlled in these demo tracks, and they allowed themselves to be a little sloppier and off the rails on the album version. That’s just my take, but that’s what I got. I’m not saying it’s better or worse, but if you’re obsessive enough about this stuff, you get it.

If somehow you’ve made it this far into a review of a band you haven’t heard of, I say, you know what, you should just buy it. You probably should do what I do, and try to buy every single record that’s ever come out on Dischord. I don’t have them all, but I would say that I have more than half, and I want the rest.

If you’re already a fan of Rites of Spring, you probably went right to the Dischord website without reading this, because you know what’s good.

Rites of Spring Six Song Demo Tracklist:
1. End on End
2. Remainder
3. Persistent Vision
4. Hain’s Point
5. All There Is
6. By Design

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