Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Raymond Brake - Piles Of Dirty Winters

Label: Simple Machines
Year: 1995

As an American by birth, North Carolinian by the grace of god, I have always had a soft spot for the state's long lineage of well crafted indie rock. What can I say, it's a point of pride.
Well, in the shadow of the Chapel Hill bands, some smaller, but equally talented, groups got passed over due to their address. The Raymond Brake, from Greensboro, were one of those. They had some of the math rock of Polvo, and a lot of the punkish pop of Superchunk, that exhibited what was the best of indie rock. It wasn't all codified and classified as this or that, the music was still allowed to ebb and flow into different sub-genres without sounding forced. I like that about this band a lot. 
I only caught them live once, in Athens, and I remember them being louder and more abrasive than the 7" I had heard at the college radio station there previous to seeing them. On record, there are a lot more subtleties, and dare I say, more mature songwriting being showcased.
Surely if you were in college or in a relationship with a girl in the early to mid nineties, you were exposed to this type of music, and chances are, deep down in your heavy metal heart, you secretly loved it.
Lead singer Andy Cabic went on to form Tussle, and Vetiver with Devendra Banhart if that means anything to you.


squidchip said...

Raymond Brake was a great band!

Anonymous said...

Andy Cabic is a sweetie. Saw RB numerous times in GSO. Their 2nd "Never Work Ever" is solid too. Mercury Birds are more Swervedriver-ish contemporaries from the same scene. Loved them lots. Thx for the post. Taking me back....

clint said...

i'm not even from NC yet i've always had a soft spot in my heart for the Chapel Hill scene of the 90's: Polvo, Archers of Loaf, Erectus Monotone etc. you're right, none of it was codified back then, you could ebb and flow anywhere you wanted to and those bands really encompassed a rich diversity of sounds.

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