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RITES OF SPRING (Buy CDs by this artist)
Rites of Spring (Dischord) 1985
All Through a Life EP (Dischord) 1987

Led by singer/lyricist Guy Picciotto, Washington DC's Rites of Spring — which broke up in '87, leaving him to help found Fugazi — was an extraordinary punk band. Part of a dubious emo-core (emotionally charged hardcore) mini-movement, the quartet enveloped articulate sentiments in a relentless rush of rhythm and melody that was simultaneously pulverizing and delicate. Rites of Spring is a staggeringly great record, with excellent sound, crisp playing and evocative songs.

Unfortunately, while Rites of Spring plays with the same force and vigor on the four-song All Through a Life 7-inch, the mix reduces the band's blasts to artsy whimpers. Where the lyrics were formerly reflective and personal, here they're intimate nonsense.

[Ian McCaleb]
   See also Happy Go Licky