# 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 Benjamin Howarth

published: 8 / 10 / 2005

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


Bleak, but powerful re-release of cult American post punk act For Against's long deleted 1988 second album 'December'

Words On Music is having a superb year, releasing a series of albums all worthy of high praise. For Against have played a key role on the label for several years now, but this is the first time many people will get to hear their second album 'December', which is being reissued for the first time since its original pressing in 1988. Listening to this album is a terrific experience. It is quite remarkable that this band are not revered by the whole independent music community, since they embody everything many modern bands are aspiring to. For Against were a young band from an American town with no established music scene, absorbing the alien sounds of the English indie underground and adding a tense approach that reflected their frustrations and alienation. This is precisely what many British bands do today-take the sounds of the post-punk era and add a sense of frustration at being so cut off from that time. A common feature of post punk is a uniformity of tone and mood, and 'December' offers no exception. The album’s mood is chillingly bleak, and the music is sparse and mournful. Jeffrey Runnings’ vocals may sound weedy and boyish, but they work well within this setting. He sounds genuinely troubled. The album isn’t hampered by its pervading sense of gloom. Instead it feels more important. The three musicians involved seem to be giving everything they have, and, with a short running time of 36 minutes, not a note is wasted. Perhaps, when this album was released it sounded too close to its contemporaries for comfort. Certainly, the band continually remind me of Echo and the Bunnymen, Joy Division, the Chameleons, the Teardrop Explodes and the Sound. There are also a couple of tracks that borrow the guitar sound of 'Fables of the Reconstruction'-era REM. But, listening to this album 17 years after its first release, all that matters is the quality of the songs, and in that respect For Against seem to be superior to most of their more revered contemporaries. It is hard to see 'December' as anything other than a tragedy. An album of such power with awesome guitar work and a perfectly suited rhythm section, there is no justice in it being known by so few. One can only imagine how revered For Against would be if they had been able to print the words Creation or 4AD on their album sleeve. Words On Music have done modern music fans a sterling service, whilst rendering many modern bands obsolete. The 80's revival stops here.

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