This New Jersey trio (I had forgotten where they were from until I put this post together, and damn, I fucking love New Jersey) formed in the late-80's and is probably best known for their initial outing for Revelation Records in 1995: "Save It", their third full-length – which was actually my first introduction to the band. "Save It" is an excellent record in its own right, but after tracking down their earlier material something about their sophomore effort, "Neon", always stuck with me. I don't know, maybe it's just the fact that it's a little moodier, but whatever the case, this record, released in 1993 on the Skene! label, remains my favorite in the Shades Apart catalog.
The band was actually most interesting to me in that they always had a totally unique sound, partly due to the vocals, but also because they're just impossible to pigeonhole. They're not an emo band, they're not an indie rock band, they're not exactly a post-hardcore band, nor are they a simple rock band… but all such styles play a role in their music, which is catchy and melodic, but still a little dissonant or at times angular and noisy. I saw 'em live numerous times during the mid- to late-90's and they never played any tracks from this record live. I don't know what that was all about, maybe they weren't happy with the slight stylistic shift? Who knows? One of the final times I caught 'em they did play a mere one song off of "Neon" and I was super psyched about that. I should've talked to 'em about it afterwards, but I'm too neurotic to do shit like that, so… it remains a mystery to me.
Anyway, I'm a big fan of this band and have always thought more people should be into 'em:
Shades Apart "Calling"
Shades Apart "Visitor"
After doing another record for Revelation, it was off to the majors, though I actually stopped following the group after "Save It" for whatever reason. Which reminds me: I probably ought to pick up "Seeing Things" and "Eyewitness" simply out of respect for the band's formidable years, but 2001's "Sonic Boom" displays one of the worst record covers of all time, so I'd probably refuse to buy it even if it was good (which it may be, I haven't heard it, obviously). Maybe they're even still kicking around somewhere? I doubt it, but you never know…
The band's debut was always pretty hard to find, and "Neon" met a similar fate as it's pretty damn scarce to come by these days unless you're willing to pay relatively unreasonable prices (it's actually surpassed the band's debut in terms of rarity). There's one copy for dirt cheap on Half.com right now, so if someone wants it: Act fast. There's another on eBay that's actually priced fairly, but it's in Japan, so… that's a tossup when you factor in shipping costs. A used copy's fuckin' $25 on Amazon.com, which isn't a fair deal, so… it's a shame it's so hard to get your hands on this CD now. Any takers?
And thanks to everyone that's posted comments (positive or negative, it all counts) or emailed me with thoughts and suggestions over the past week, I really appreciate it and was actually quite stunned by the sudden influx of activity, so that was awesome. Since Tomsk-7 was such a big hit this Shades Apart action might send a few of you running to the hills, but… I'll bring back the grind at some point as well! Thanks.