Rites of Spring, End on End

Mark Jenkins

By Mark Jenkins

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
This capital-R Romantic quartet was the first “emo” band.

This capital-R Romantic quartet was the first "emo" band, and naturally the first to reject that tag (originally "emocore"). Its only album, supplemented on CD by a posthumous EP, attempted to capture the emotional turbulence of its legendary gigs — and comes close enough. While the music is still raucous and raw-throated enough to qualify as hardcore, the looping guitars, delicate if half-buried melodies and intimate lyrics announce a new paradigm. The music's rush and roar attempts to express more than is possible, and almost succeeds. Such intensity could hardly be sustained, and a quick breakup was almost inevitable.