Monday, August 15, 2016


F.R.O.G. Records
My interview with founding member Joe Caravella covered his punk roots pretty extensively. He recalls meeting the Ramones and Blondie in the early years of the scene that coalesced at CBGB. Granted it seemed an eyesore, but the bands given a chance there made impressions that resonate with the screamo and pop punk that entered the airwaves in ‘00. Rock sometimes condescends punk around here, but people seem to know how much of it has seeped its way into popular music in disparate but distinct proportions. The Reign’s four-song EP is an example of the punk roots that are as ineffaceable ingrained in rock as pop punk, screamo, and alternative. While this EP is mellow and laid back compared to much of what I listen to, I found it uncanny how closely similar the song structure is to 60’s rock, late 60s folk rock, grunge, David Bowie, heroin chic a la New York Dolls and especially the early alternative from 1988-89. The Reign have more in common with it than glam or sleaze rock, at least from my perspective. Note that I say early alternative, not the inane trend grunge became in the mid-90s. I occasionally listen to Little Steven’s Underground Garage, the rare classics and the pirate radio atmosphere of that program; these songs pulse with similar purity and lack of restriction. That two of these songs were recorded in 2001 before punk was watered down and turned into a marketing ploy by mainstream radio, likely has something to do with the general vibe. Back in the day, I’d walk the east side after a CB’s hardcore matinee at the turn of the decade; this EP strongly reminded me of those Sunday nights when I’d walk around, seeking more knowledge about where the musical revolution originated. The songs recorded in 2001 are the best examples of what I am saying about this EP; they have a timeless quality to them which is likely why this band has survived aboveground trends (as thrash and death metal bands likewise have). If you’re a fan of rock or classic punk you might say you have the best of both worlds with this band. -Dave Wolff

Track list:
1. I'd
2. Let Me Be the One (2001 Version)
3. Nothing Comes Around (2001 Version)
4. Beneath My Wicked Sky

1 comment:


    Here is a direct link to said EP on Itunes