(Honey Bear, 1998)
You should be listening to Unwound right now. It’s not really much of question, you know, they’re pretty good. Leaves Turn Inside You is arguably brilliant. It’s why I’m not writing about that album. I’d do it an injustice with my fumbly mumbly words.
That three-piece indie-punk act from Olympia, Washington, was nothing if not prolific in the late 1990s, and Young Ginns was a side project shooting off from the main trio. Justin Trosper was the constant. And drummer Brandt Sandeno was in Unwound briefly before giving way to Sara Lund for the remaining ten years of their career, but who’s counting. Oh, and Tim Green of The Nation of Ulysses played guitar in Young Ginns and Brett Frost, who was 17 or so when this was recorded, is on vocals. Did someone say supergroup? No? I didn’t either. Redacted. (Not redacted.)
Hey, and guess what? Unwound just unveiled a live archive this year, plus they released Live Leaves documenting the Leaves Turn tour in 2001. What is this, the year of Unwound? We can dream.
Young Ginns, in the words of their Discogs profile, on where they got their name: “The members were fueled by the sounds of hardcore punk and SST Records releases and reasoned that if young writers were called ‘Young Ginsburgs’ [sic] then they’d call themselves ‘Young Ginns’ (in reference to SST honcho Greg Ginn).” Well duh. Anyone with half a brain would know that the “Ginn” in Young Ginns referred to Greg Ginn. That’s just how it is. Plus, while listening to the record, it’s insanely obvious that SST, and Black Flag in particular, is a touchstone for these guys. The guitar is dirty and mean, the vocals half-hollered in that wonderful post-hardcore way, and everything is loose and fun, just like SST. There’s even a great Void cover, “Time to Die.” Ain’t that some hardcore worship.
So why come back around to this record now? It wasn’t a huge thing – in fact you’d be hard pressed to suggest that it barely registered at all. And of course the only reason I’m even remembering this is the whole Unwound thing. But it’s worth getting reacquainted with this low-profile release, because it’s a reminder of the bygone days of poring over zines and far-flung labels’ mail-order rosters. Stuff was harder to come by in the 1990s (let alone the 1980s) before the internet. So here’s thirteen tracks of one band’s discography, many of which clock in at under two minutes, although there’s quite a bit to discover in the lengthier tracks as well. It’s a reminder that bands used to collaborate all the time and release little-heard records like this. And they barely had a following – Frost commented on a post, linked below, saying he felt kind of like Rites of Spring with this band, in that they “only played 12 shows, we only played 9.”
And hey, here’s that link! You can even download it from this guy. Zip file’s still there! (Accessed 2/4/13.)
RIYL: Unwound, Black Flag, Squirrel Bait, Bastro