Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Vinyl Vednesday 12/8/2010

[Vinyl Vednesday is a weekly feature about three favorite vinyl finds. It’s not meant to be a dick-measuring contest, but it usually turns out that way. This week’s installment celebrates the brief return of The Ergs!, a pop-punk act that may one day be just as revered as The Ramones or Screeching Weasel. Yeah, I said it. E-mail with your own big finds!]

Records: The Ergs!’s 3 Guys, 12 Eyes seven-inch (2001) on black, “Blue” single (2007) on blue (a-doy), and That’s It… Bye (2008) on black.

Place of Purchase: 3 Guys came from Repo Records in m.f.-in’ Thrilladelphia. “Blue” was purchased at an Ergs! show, back when I still went to concerts. That’s It was mailordered, but I honestly don’t remember who I bought it from… I just remember leaving the country and, when I came back, there it was.

Thoughts: 3 Guys, 12 Eyes was my first physical Ergs! purchase. The Ben Kweller EP caught my attention; 3 Guys cemented my love. While they only released two proper full-lengths, The Ergs! wrote and recorded an insane amount of material, which is why I think they should be canonized as punk rock saints. I don’t listen to them quite as much as I used to, but I remember the glee I got from hearing each new seven-inch or attending a set. The Ergs! were a talented, generous band, and 3 Guys bears that out. It even comes with a comic! And how you could you not be moved by the emotional appeal of “If You Don’t,” or the guitarmageddon of “Bought a Copy?” Shit rules.

2007 was a great year for Ergs! fans. We got the fantastic full-length Upstairs/Downstairs, as well as a bevy of seven-inches: Splits with Lemuria and Grabass Charlestons, a single for “Books About Miles Davis,” and this little curio called “Blue.” The A-side is typical Ergs!. “Blue” is super catchy, pretty fast, and just generally great. But the song that makes the bigger impression for me is a cover of Nirvana’s “Blew.” They obviously did it as a joke, but it’s a great grunge cover. It reaffirms in my mind that The Ergs! were a great band, as they could take on a variety of styles with ease [Cue reference to that time people complained about Upstairs/Downstairs not having enough jazz references].

Yet for all my fandom, I have mixed feelings about That’s It… Bye. Maybe it’s because the band made a huge deal about it being their last recordings (While they’ve released other songs since their break-up, That’s It features the last three songs The Ergs! ever recorded). Maybe it’s because I never had a chance to bond with the recordings due to personal reasons. Maybe it’s because “Anthem For a New Amanda” is slightly slower. Whatever. Point is, this EP was slightly anti-climactic for me. While the members have gone on to other projects with varying success, I’ll always hold on to the years The Ergs! were together. That said, while I’ll probably never get to see them live again, I certainly look forward to hearing from their new projects. Whether or not they can rekindle that old Erg-y chemistry remains to be seen, but c’mon. Have you heard “Introducing Morrissey?”

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