June of 44 share first new music in 21 years off upcoming ‘Revisionist’ album
Post-hardcore/math rock/post-rock vets June of 44 were supposed to play their first Northeast shows since the '90s this past spring until coronavirus got in the way, but while those shows are on hold, the band did just release their first new recording in 21 years, "ReRecorded Syntax," a new version of "Recorded Syntax" from the band's final album, 1999's Anahata.
The new recording will appear on Revisionist: Adaptations & Future Histories In The Time Of Love And Survival, June of 44's first album since 1999, which features new versions of old songs that were recorded in 2019, plus remixes by Matmos and John McEntire (of Tortoise and The Sea and Cake) and a previously unreleased song from 1996. It comes out August 7.
The band spoke to Rolling Stone about the album:
“The session for Anahata was pretty tough; many of the songs felt underdeveloped,” [guitarist/vocalist Jeff] Mueller writes in an email. “Speaking for myself … it all just felt rushed and messy — I had very little grasp on how to organize and play my parts.”
[...] Some of the older material, Mueller says, “has been either radically altered or rearranged to a point to where you may not recognize the new version from the one that came before it.” But in this case, the Revisionist version sticks pretty close to the original. Bassist Fred Erskine and drummer Doug Scharin lay down a hypnotic vamp, as Mueller and fellow guitarist-vocalist Sean Meadows carry on a ghostly speak-sing duet, layering in chiming, dramatic guitar lines. It’s an effective piece of sustained moodcraft that both demonstrates the quartet’s fully intact chemistry and serves as a reminder of how distinctive their sound was in the first place.
“Just after we started playing together again, Sean suggested we start considering a list of songs that perhaps could be reworked for a new album,” Mueller says of the origins of Revisionist. “[W]e’d never afforded ourselves the time to thoroughly think through the writing process of several of our later songs — we thought very differently of them upon our return a couple years back. Mickey [Darius] at Broken Clover’s proposal for us to make an unusual recording fit neatly within the ideas that we’d been cultivating. Ultimately, I think we needed to get these new versions out of our system — so that we could advance and look ahead to whatever may come of us creatively. We’re all quite prideful of the way that it’s turned out, and, truth be told, it’s evolved into something quite a bit farther reaching than I think any of us had anticipated.”
You can read more and listen to the song at Rolling Stone. Tracklist and credits below. Artwork above.
1. A Chance to Cure is a Chance to Cut Your Face (MATMOS REMIX)
2. ReRecorded Syntax
3. Cardiac Atlas
4. Post-Modern Hereditary Dance Steps
5. A Past to Face (JOHN McENTIRE REMIX)
6. No Escape, Levitate
8. Paint Your Face
REVISIONIST was recorded by David Lenci in Oakland, California at Survivor Sound in 2019.
Vocals and guitar overdubs recorded by Matt Schultz at Narwhal Studios in Chicago, Illinois - John Zuccardy at Sex Beat in New Haven, Connecticut - and Ivan Garcia at La Blanca in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Mixed at Soma by John McEntire in Gladstone, Oregon in 2020.
Contains remixes by Matmos and John McEntire, plus a previously unreleased version of PAINT YOUR FACE aka CUT YOUR FACE, recorded by Bob Weston in 1996 in Boston, Massachusetts at Sound Techniques.
Album art by Jeff Mueller.