Formed in Southend, Essex, England, in 1992, alternative rock band Understand grew from the ashes of local group Stand Off (other members of that band, Hallam Foster and Tony Maddocks, went on to work with Above All). Comprising Dom Anderson (vocals), John Hannon (guitar), Rob Coleman (guitar), Stuart Quinnell (bass) and Andy Shepherd (drums), they continued Stand Off’s ‘straight edge’ creed of abstinence from drink and drugs, with their musical influences clearly American. Fugazi, the leaders of the ‘emo-core’ (emotional hardcore) and straight edge scenes, are their obvious chief influence. Their debut self-titled EP was recorded with noted hardcore producer Don Fury in his studio in 1994, but failed to garner sympathetic press coverage - though earlier reviews of their demos and live shows had been much more positive. Their debut album for EastWest Records, Burning Bushes And Burning Bridges, proved much more popular. Produced by Chris Sheldon, best known for his work on Therapy?’s Troublegum, this was a more disciplined, powerful showcase for their work. The songs that attracted most attention were ‘Southend’, a tribute to the group’s seaside home-town, and ‘The Rudeness We Encounter’, a plea for the return of a very old-fashioned English concept - politeness.
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