Rites of Spring

Rites of Spring

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With better songs they'll join the Marginal Man or Grey Matter class of the mid-'80s vanguard of Dischord's post-punk, post-hardcore new D.C. bands. They've got the chops and dynamics down, although they will also need a little improvement over these tuneless, semi-screaming vocals. It would be interesting to hear a John Stabb or Ian MacKaye singing these songs instead, as the now familiar style of hot rock down there is showing itself well again on this record. Is it that Jeff Nelson and MacKaye are just great A&R men (though they'd never call themselves that) or, more likely, that they are so influential leaders by example with their own music that they set a great tone and the other D.C. locals follow it? Whatever the case, this city keeps reinventing itself as an unlikely explosive underground rock mecca and we are all the beneficiaries.