Following the tasteful remasters/reissues of LPs by Lungfish and Void, Dischord now issues Rites of Spring’s elusive Six Song Demo. Originally recorded by Ian MacKaye at the hallowed Inner Ear studio and remastered from those original tapes, these are even barer bones versions of songs that would later resurface on the band’s proper, self-titled debut.
With each delivered vocal, clean guitar line, and hardcore drum beat, the blueprints for post hardcore, pre emo sound is here. A sentiment and operation that would be fleshed out on DC-area 7″s and tapes for the next ten or twenty years. Rites of Spring incorporate surreal audio elements from the recording session too, making the entire package a much more personal affair. Opening “End on End” with a playful interchange and mock-sung lyrics provide an endearing intro to an incredibly young band. This was recorded even before the band’s first show. The vision and fervor of the band almost physically comes through the recording on songs like “Persistent Vision” and “Remainder,” with each note sung/played at terminal velocity.
MacKaye throws in various tape noises as though the demo is a snapshot of an endless skirmish of energy, rewinding and fast-forwarding to random flashes of greatness through song. Definitely one for fans of the DC hardcore scene and Dischord’s ongoing legacy.