SEASON TO RISK – Misc. tracks 1992-2006
September 18, 2009
It must be said I do find myself getting a bit miffed these days when people start shooting off about the great noise rock of the 90’s and fail to mention Season to Risk (S2R). For my money their output was as important and valid as any of the bigger AmRep, Dischord or Touch & Go bands yet they go totally overlooked even with their stint on a major label over the first half of the 90’s. Maybe we put this injustice down to bad timing because this band are if nothing else vastly capable of delivering a unique variant of this sound. They avoided being a clone like many bands signed to majors as part of the Grunge explosion. From their inception S2R had a strong identity and were flagbearers for the ‘Kansas City sound’. Trademarks of this being the complex, yet very forceful drumwork, pummeling low end, abstract poetic lyrics, and guitar lines wavering from dissonance to melody… S2R were definitely pioneers of a harsher, rhythmically skewed brand of ‘math rock’. Below is some footage I found from 1997 of the band flipping their tour van, I’m guessing that this and more will be on the planned S2R DVD.
My personal S2R highlight would be the ‘Men are monkeys, Robots win’ CD, an album that I considered quite hard to fathom when I first heard it. I really liked their first album but about a year ago this third record became my life’s soundtrack for about a month. In that time I let the abrasive layers of confusion, paranoia, nihilism, loathing etc. wash over me. I tapped in and felt greatly rewarded after these multiple listens. It’s coming from such an obscure place that I cannot understand where. S2R have the rare quality of a group mind, there is a singular vision and that is the result of the sum, never the parts.
The below download is a compiliation I’d collected of all their B-sides, split 7″s & comp tracks. I’m pretty certain everything is included. The collection starts with ‘Oil’ a 7″ B-side from 1992. ‘The End All’ from the Kansas City Misery compilation. ‘Undone’ was the track they played in the Strange Days movie & featured as a very limited split 7″ with Glazed Baby. ‘Beestings and Poison Eggs’ from the split 7″ with Starkweather. This is probably my favourite S2R track & I think it is a perfect representation of the band. They effortlessly contrast the harsh & rhythmic with flow & melody. ‘This Town’ was from a Go-go’s tribute compilation. ‘Ace of Space’ appeared on the split 7″ with Molly McGuire. It sounds like a demo version for ‘The Shattering’ album, it’s a bit slower and not as well rounded but still great. ‘Melt’ is from the Die Kreuzen tribute album and ‘Cotton Bolls’ from the Killdozer tribute album. If you like this stuff then you can buy the first three albums cheaply HERE, or for further information consult the band’s DISCOGRAPHY. I cannot recommend Season to Risk highly enough.