For Against

Echelons/December/In the Marshes

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These Nebraskans' first two albums, Echelons (1987) and December (1988), as well as their 1985 recordings released as the In the Marshes EP (1990), were reissued on CD during the 2000s. In 2013, Captured Tracks released this vinyl box with presumably the same mastering. Limited to 1,000 copies, the set contains each of the three releases -- none sold separately -- in its entirety, while In the Marshes features the two additional songs, recorded in 1984 and 1987, that were added to the CD reissue. The albums are in individual sleeves, housed with a substantial booklet in a sturdy matte box -- certainly no disappointment for anyone familiar with the level of value placed on design and packaging by Independent Project, the band's original label. Anchored by Jeffrey Runnings' melodic bass and often pointed lyrics projected with sweetly anguished vocals, and yet coated in reverb almost as thickly as any band on 4AD, For Against fused post-punk and dream pop like no one else. Their earliest recordings, gratifyingly recirculated here, are essential for any serious fan of the Cure's second and third albums, the Sound, the Chameleons, and Kitchens of Distinction.

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