Posted in metal | music on October 2, 2012

Rites of Spring
Rites of Spring

Rites of Spring was an American post-hardcore band from Washington, D.C. in the mid-1980s, known for their energetic live performances. A part of the D.C. hardcore punk scene, Rites of Spring increased the frenetic violence and visceral passion of hardcore while simultaneously experimenting with its compositional rules. Lyrically, they also shifted hardcore into intensely personal realms and, in doing so, are often considered the first "emo" band, but Rites of Spring itself rejects any association between themselves and emo genres. -[Wikipedia]

Emo is a bit of a dirty word for the great Rites of Spring, who fused hardcore with melody and clean vocals across a pair of releases (an LP and a 7") before their dissolution. Members of the band famously went on to do lasting work in bands like Silver Jews and Fugazi in the years following, but Rites of Spring had already left its indelible mark.

Now in the grand tradition of the recent Lungfish and Void LPs, comes Rites of Spring's six-song demo remastered from the original tapes, available via Dischord Records on 10". Some history behind the release:

Before they even played a show -- the band recorded a six-song demo tape at Inner Ear with Don Zientara and Ian MacKaye... After the dissolution of their previous band, Insurrection, in 1983, Canty, Picciotto, and Fellows joined with Faith guitarist Eddie Janney and began writing new songs. Unfortunately, just as they became ready to play out, Fellows announced plans to relocate to Los Angeles, effectively ending the band before it even got started. Before the bassist departed, the group decided to go to Inner Ear to document the handful of finished songs that they had written. At this point, not only had they never played a show, Rites of Spring hadn't even settled on a name (on the tapes, Zientara listed the sessions as Insurrection II)...
The sessions were notable for being the first time that anybody had heard Picciotto sing. At the time, few bands had access to a PA system during practice and the volume of the other instruments often blotted out vocals. Shortly after tracking was completed, Fellows hit the road and the recordings were mixed in his absence, hence the Beatles-inspired "Mike Fellows is dead," gag at the end of "By Design." ...there was no plan to officially release the recording, so the completed songs were dubbed onto cassette tapes and given out to friends, who passed them along to others... These six songs capture Rites of Spring in its earliest stages. Once the band started playing out, the songs gained velocity and intensity (see the 7-minute plus version of "End on End" that closes their LP), but many of the elements that defined their music - frenzied energy, sharp melodies, and introspective lyrics -- were already very much in place.
Stream the first track to emerge from the Rites of Spring demo below, the demo of "By Design," alongside the tracklisting and album art. Look for it via Dischord Records on October 23.


Rites of Spring
Rites of Spring Six Song Demo Track List
1) End on End
2) Remainder
3) Persistent Vision
4) Hain's Point
5) All There Is
6) By Design
Recorded April 1984 at Inner Ear Studios by Don Zientara; Produced by Ian MacKaye. Mastered by TJ Lipple in 2012.



Comments (16)


my chemical romance > rites of spring

Posted by Anonymous | October 2, 2012 1:24 PM

kinda sounds like old dinosaur jr music wise. for some reason it's much more dated though.

Posted by Anonymous | October 2, 2012 1:35 PM

Love this band -- love the photos.

Posted by Anonymous | October 2, 2012 1:53 PM

"For Want Of" is an absolute perfect song.

Posted by Anonymous | October 2, 2012 2:40 PM

One of the best band photos ever. A miracle that whoever is the jumper didn't accidentally get hurt on this shoot.

Posted by Anonymous | October 2, 2012 2:45 PM


1:24 more so than any other commenter (ever) on BV

Posted by Anonymous | October 2, 2012 3:17 PM

One of the best bands of their era. I always loved "Nudes."

Posted by Anonymous | October 2, 2012 5:38 PM

1:24 must be about 12 years old and live in a bubble to say something so absurd.

Posted by Anonymous | October 2, 2012 7:57 PM

Rites of spring was Always one of my favorite bands on Dischord. Such an inspirational and moving band. Guy has so much passion in his vocals

Posted by Anonymous | October 8, 2012 6:06 PM

Jesus Christ, Dischord has turned into a fucking garage sale.

Posted by Anonymous | October 8, 2012 6:33 PM

Yeah, that's because YOU quit buying records in 2006.

Posted by Anonymous | October 9, 2012 11:38 PM

6:33 nailed it. All of these old men should move to Miami Beach and stop embarrassing themselves rehashing their glory days.

Posted by Anonymous | October 10, 2012 12:26 AM

Rehashing? It's not like they are playing hows and forcing you to deal with the dreadful results. They (dischord) are a record label and are selling products to help stimulate the economy and help get Barry O back in the oval office. No one is forcing anyone to but these things. There are a shitload of both young and old punkers who are happy to buy ancient recordings of these DC dinosaurs.

ps. You probably listened to The Strokes at some point in your life...BWWAAAAAHHHH. You lose.

Posted by Mich3ll3_0bama | October 10, 2012 12:52 AM

Everyone's laughing at his lameness? No, I'm laughing at the frowny baby in the picture and all of the people who take him and his band seriously.

Posted by Jokes 2013 | November 23, 2012 6:53 PM

Complete BS. They're scared. Homeboy who ran that Africa scam got word that their were a few hard pipe-hitting hipsters waiting for him.

Posted by Blackberry z10 Price | February 3, 2013 9:24 PM

they were great in the 80's.

Posted by mike | July 14, 2013 2:37 PM

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