Friday, December 4, 2015

Enemy of the Sun

Back in the early 90s, my hometown had a couple indie record stores--but they couldn't have been more different. One was a bootlegs-of-the-Dead-man and tie-dyes place that had a reputation for being a front for the local coke trade. I swear to god that the only thing you ever heard over their speakers were the fucking Allman Brothers. 

The other shop was the place to go. It was about the size of a walk-in closet, and the carpet smelled like a crime had been committed on it and then hastily covered up, but it had the weird stuff: punk, metal, and alt. rock discs you weren't going to find anywhere else. In a town where the Misfits were super-obscure, this mattered. It was an oasis in the middle of the blighted, post-industrial upstate NY landscape. Sometimes we'd go there just to stand around inside because it felt like being anywhere but where we were from.

One of the guys who worked there fronted the big local hardcore punk band. For a while he made a little 'zine that they gave out at the front counter; the 'zine was essentially a "look, kid, here's what we just got in stock that you should be listening to" type of thing. Maybe it had some listings of upcoming shows or something too. Yeah, yeah, it was essentially an advertisement, but more importantly it had character and the recommendations refused to steer you wrong. 

One of the records that his 'zine strenuously urged me to check out was Neurosis' Enemy of the Sun. The description of it in the 'zine sounded good, but I was hesitant. When you're a teenager and the only money you have is gained through a series of odd (and probably soul-destroying) jobs, you've got to make every dollar spent on music count. But he put Enemy of the Sun on the store's stereo and that was it. No need to put it in a bag, it is going in the Discman as soon as I'm out of the shop.

Enemy of the Sun was my first taste of Neurosis, but it wouldn't be my last. If you haven't yet, click the above for your first taste. You can trust me on this; for weird kids living in the midst of decaying factory towns, music was all we had. Now you should have some too.