# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

For Against - Echelons

  by Chris Jones

published: 19 / 4 / 2005

For Against - Echelons
Label: Words On Music
Format: CD


Timely re-release on Words on Music label of brooding Nebraskan post punks For Against 1986's lost masterpiece, 'Echelons'

This album by For Against was originally recorded in 1986. That year the Dead Kennedys played a show inside a movie theatre in Marin County. Chairs were pulled out of the floor and thrown at the walls. People flung themselves wildly down the aisles. And hearing 'Moon Over Marin' live was the most incredible thing. Had I somehow heard this album back then I would have listened to about 20 seconds of it at the most. For Against hailed from Nebraska and their music was a combination of post-punk and edgy/haunting atmospheric elements (at a time when those things were far less fashionable than they are now). These two factors alone were probably sufficient to ensure that fame would not come calling. Maybe had they followed Jimi Hendrix's path and moved to England, they would have at least found more willing ears and companionship with the likes of Joy Division, Echo and the Bunnymen, Wire, etc. That journey across the sea did not happen however and it's only now, almost 20 years later that the fine folks at Words on Music have resurrected this album and given it new life at a time when it may be more appreciated. One listen to the opening track, 'Shine', was enough to make me like this album. The guitar tone is both jangly and somehow dangerous. Not that in your face danger that punk thrived on, but something lurking in the shadows, something sinister. The rhythm section drives along, non-stop carrying that sinister feeling with it as well. Jeffrey Runnings' vocals however, don't fall into the melodramatic/depressed/gloomy camp that turned me off from many of the UK bands of the time. Nor do they necessarily sound as happy or content as say some of the New Zealand guitar pop bands (the Clean, the Bats, etc). His voice carries a sense of isolation more so than despair - something that seems to fit well with the vast sparseness of the Great Plains States. Each and every song on this album has enough energy to encite, yet the tone is almost more conducive to brooding. Or maybe that should be plotting. "We don't know what we want, but we know how to get it" hadn't really panned out and it was time to think about things a bit deeper. Where punk was the extroverted kid causing a commotion for the sake of causing a commotion, post punk was the introverted,almost autistic kid, sitting there rocking back and forth trying to figure out just what in the hell they could do to change their situation. 'Echelons' is a great slice of music that for the most part was unable to escape its surroundings. Geography, tone and timing were against it. And that is why it is nice that there are some people who make the effort to re-release albums that I, and I suspect a lot of other people, never heard the first time around and may not have appreciated even if we had.

Track Listing:-
1 Shine
2 Daylight
3 Get On With It
4 Echelons
5 It's A Lie
6 Autocrat
7 Forget Who You Are
8 Loud And Clear
9 Broke My Back

Label Links:-

Post A Comment

your name
ie London, UK
Check box to submit


Interview (2008)
For Against - Interview
Vocalist/bassist Jeffery Runnings and guitarist Harry Dingman from Nebraskan post-punks For Against speak to Chris Jones about their band's long twenty five year history, seven albums and Dingman's recent return to the band after an absence of sixteen years


Never Been (2010)
Fine eighth album from Nebraskan-based dream pop act For Against, who, despite having first formed in 1985, have suddenly found themselves back in style
Shade Side Sunny Side (2008)
Echelons (2005)
Coalesced (2003)

most viewed articles

most viewed reviews

Pennyblackmusic Regular Contributors