Tuesday, May 15, 2007

JONES VERY - words and days (LP) Hawker #9441 1989

While all the Reagan era hardcore cult followers or let's say crybabies1 were still moaning about the end of Articles Of Faith, others already enjoyed the acoustic album on Wishing Well Records and of course later: Jones Very.
There is a nice story about how the name Hawker Records came into existence: the guy who started the label had this ultra brutal New York street accent and he wanted to name his label "Hardcore Records", but when he was talking on the phone everyone caught "Hawker" and not "Hardcore"; quite nice anecdote - also included here (I don't know if there's an English version of the book).
Anyway the label - a subdivision of Roadrunner - was blamed for bad business tactics, which also led into the demise of bands (Wrecking Crew). Vic Bondi states that he never saw royalties for this record. All Hawker records have a poor appearance, mostly no lyric sheets, black and white printing but - especially the European pressings - promotional sheets which left me embarrassed for the writer. Some of the Hawker records also sound shitty (Token Entry), but that's not the case with this beautiful record (which looks shitty... ha ha ha).

Jones Very's first album still has some Articles Of Faith moments but is way more diverse, melodic and sophisticated (I should concentrate on grammar instead of foreign words) and it's a pity that it's not available anymore (pops up at Ebay sometimes or as CD version at Amazon.com), maybe one of the reasons it's overlooked? Same goes for the LP and EP on Jade Tree, whose release miens led to the end of Jones Very. I know people who just know Alloy concerning the Articles Of Faith/ Bondi context but never heard of Jones Very!

After ripping and listening to it several times again: I am really in love with it! Quite a consequent development after the last Articles Of Faith album; a lot of late Hüsker Dü and Mission Of Burma influences. The calmer songs really anticipate a style that will become famous for Sub Pop, Chicago bands, Caulfield etc..

The lyrics are mainly political, not that finger pointing more in a lyrical way (maybe someone has seen the "American Hardcore" movie, which was a frightening freak show and left the impression to me that Vic Bondi and Mike Watt were the only more or less self-reflecting people, although I wouldn't be consistent with Bondi's conceivabilities of left-wing politics). The first song also points at the Reagan era hardcore nostalgists and American leftists who stilled fueled their anger and views from political circumstances which existed half a decade before:

"past the nuclear age
the American century lasted barley a decade
things fall apart and thing fade away
past nostalgic hate
looking back on a new generation of waiters
in hell they watch heaven on television
it's yesterday in the western world"

Vic Bondi ("I was playing hardcore before you were born") has definitely one of the best voices in the history of hardcore and punk. All produced by Lou Giordano - which is obvious.

Important side note: Jeff Goddard, who was also in Apology and Grin, was later in Karate and the Lune!


Here is a short description by Jeff Goddard:

"Recorded at the original Fort Apache South on Norfolk St. in Roxbury by Lou Giordano, this often overlooked debut was way ahead of it's time. The tiny tracking room with brick walls and piles of gear provided a very live sound also found on The Pixes "Come on Pilgrim" and Uncle Tupelo's "No Depression. Despite the chorus effect on the bass, i am particularly proud of this record. Apparently Ryan Adams also likes "Words and Days"."

JONES VERY - words and days (LP) Hawker #9441 1989

side a:
1. yesterday in the western world
2. ash and dust
3. words and days
4. letting go in time
5. desperation bends
6. jesus... I

side b:
1. rest, you know too well
2. granted
3. cut
4. ray
5. red sky dry

[OGG Vorbis, 256k, password: antithesis]

Vic Bondi
Vic Bondi's blog
Jones Very @ Jade Tree
Flex! entry

1 for me: nostalgia is still connoted negative (although this blog might not fit into this mindset?!)


Anonymous said...

great album! my vinyl is pretty much scrapped, could you please re-up that record.

Anonymous said...

oh, yeah please re-up this album.
great work, man...