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|FOR AGAINST: Don't you forget us #5|
Fifth instalment in my forgotten/dismissed/underappreciated Post-Punk bands list series:I decided to take a little break. I don't mean break as in quitting the series, I mean break as in covering a band with less albums than usual. So For Against it is. What do they have? Eight albums and an EP? Easy-peasy post-punk-squeezy.
Mason's California Lunch Room
For Against have never been a particularly aggressive or upfront band and that sort of softness in their sound is elevated on this album. Five albums into their career and the band starts to balance on the verge between Post-Punk and some kind of almost Shoegaze-y Dream Pop with a more than obvious tendency to fall into the Pop pit altogether. It's a pleasantly crafted album with a little sleepy atmosphere and blissfully echoic execution. (Again, nods towards Dream Pop.) But real pickle I've got to pick here is that besides the eternally uninteresting vocals, the music lacks a certain punch to it, due to its Poppy appeal. Also, the sleepiness of it all sometimes makes the music borderline tedious.
Go-to tracks: Seesick, Hindsight, Mirage
The band's first steps are their most unsure and aimless. This album did not stand the test of time. One of its main flaws is its fundamentally disorganised mixing. The already subpar vocals seem to be drowning at the background making the already awkward delivery even more off-putting, and the songwriting tends to be a bit tired. But in spite of all that, the album still has its moments and the overall atmosphere of independent music from the 80s does its magic.
Go-to tracks: Get On With It, It's a Lie, Forget Who You Are
Echelons' follow-up album was a slight improvement. Although production-wise there isn't a lot of change to be heard, there is a certain change of intensity and urgency in the instrumentation. All of a sudden, the songwriting puts a bigger emphasis on the atmosphere and the progression. It's not a directionless knock-off of the times their debut was, but a much more realised self-sufficient record.
Go-to tracks: Stranded in Greenland, Svengali, They Said, Paperwhites
Be it album's clearer production, better shaped songwriting or flow that doesn't tire you after a full listen, this record is more than just a throwaway accident it seems to be painted as by its severe lack of reception. It is nowhere near a perfect album, but a fine release in the context of For Against's discography. Nothing too challenging, nothing too shallow.
Go-to tracks: Wintersong, Profile, Lilacs, Forever
Although the album preceding this one has been a nice change of pace, teh band's continuing on that path doesn't seem to be as striking as one would wish. Although definitely more instrumentally colourful and better put-together production-wise than their usual work, this album still carries that carefree (more in an irresponsible sort of way) and weightless attitude that is sometimes a tad tedious. Still, it is a good display of musical growth. Also, the decision to add more ambient-esque sounds was a little odd, but every now and then quite welcome.
Go-to tracks: Black Willows, You Fade
One truly needs to be ready and in the right mood for this kind of music. Its blissful exuberance can be almost sickening if listened in a wrong moment, but if straightforward, dreamy and gentle music is what you seek, look no further. The album's real flaw is maybe only its samey sound, but it is also its most charming side. There really isn't a whole lot to say about it, except that it is a fairly nice and kind record. No greater mystery behind it, no outstanding genre-twisting perspective or overwhelming lyrical concept. It's just a fine Pop-Post-Punk.
Go-to tracks: Don't Do Me Any Favors, Nightmare Life, I Wish, You Only Live Twice, Today Today
The band's more traditional approach to Post-Punk only started to shine through on their sixth album, even though it still reeked of their usual dreamy and unwinding sound. That is not to say that the band has entered an actual Punk territory, or at least a territory somewhat close to being raw and upfront. It is just much more reminiscent of your usual Post-Punk music than most of their material (with the obvious exception of Echelons).
Go-to tracks: Medication, Fuel, Shelflife
Shade Side Sunny Side
It is strange to see this band's transition to be exactly opposite of most other bands of the genre. Usually a band starts off with a straightforward Post-Punk and as their career progresses starts implimenting more previously unexplored influences, sometimes eventually leading them into some Pop territories. For Against started off almost as a straightforward Pop group, but towards the back end of their repertoire started shaping some actual Post-Punk sounds. What has been heard on a foundation level, but nowhere near fully realised on Coalesced, is now nearing its completion of here. This album is a shade darker than most other band's material.
Go-to tracks: Why Are You So Angry?, Aftertaste, Quiet Please, Irresistible
In the Marshes
Not even I expected an EP to make it this high, but considering the band's otherwise barely changing sound, having something as unusual as this seems like a heavenly blessing. This EP is mesmerisingly enthralling. The strange thing about it is that had it not been for the odd and often simply off-kilter production and instrumental play, this could have been just another one of band's outputs, completely failing to stick out from the rest. But there is a certain oddity on here, a slightly dark and brooding undertone that the rest of the band's material does not possess. It's an intriguing release, even though it might be a tad harder to get through.
Go-to tracks: Tibet, The Purgatory Salesman, Fate, In the Marshes
|I personally don't think a world of this band, but their soft, near-Poppy sound might appeal to some of you.|
I have a feeling SandwichBubble might not be happy about my placement of Echelons.
|Shit really love this list idea man, will be going through them sometime sorry I just saw them|
I gotta check the rest of FA's discography sometime, especially that EP now. :)
|echelons is quality shit|
|I actually might be able to pull off #6 today.|
|smokin tooka with the guys|
i got a big gun, large FRIES
Forget Who You Are
The Purgatory Salesman