Every Record I Own - Day 332: Don Martin Three s/t
I promise not to be the old punk guy that lectures you on what constitutes true emo. But if you’re a grumpy old guy like me, hearing the term after the turn of the century was a red flag. I was burnt out on the Sunny Day clones and I didn’t care for the nasally over-enunciating Lifetime knock-offs. I liked the stuff from the early-to-mid’90s that was indebted to the Dischord roster—stuff like Current, Indian Summer, or Don Martin Three.
I’m not sure how this band got overlooked all these years. Maybe it was because this self-released album from 1996 never had the visibility of records released on labels like Ebullition, Council, or File 13. It’s a shame because this record still rules. It’s got that rolling-around-on-a-basement-floor energy, but there are strong melodic hooks buried in all the feedback and noise. There’s conviction in the vocals and passionate force in every blow to the instruments.
A lot of this stuff falls under the “you had to be there” category, but I think this record is strong enough to resonate with the new generation of emo kids. If anything, I would hope that the raw recording and reckless musicianship would serve as a reminder of the true outcast nature of this stuff, before everything had the spit and sweat polished off of it to make it more marketable to big corporate-sponsored festivals and MTV.
Seriously. Go listen to it.