For Against - Black Soap

Words On Music
(WM29: 656605796628)
Release date: 03/22/2011
Genre: Punk Post

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Signposts: Joy Division, Wire, Factory Records. BLACK SOAP inaugurates Words On Music's new series of For Against archival releases containing rare and previously unissued material. The CD-EP contains three tracks taken from the band's debut recording session in the autumn of 1984 with the trio's original lineup of Jeff Runnings (vocals, bass), Harry Dingman (guitar), and Greg Hill (drums).

“Black Soap” launches the EP and is the first song ever written by For Against – a torrid, sharp post-punk composition that highlights the band’s early fascination with Joy Division, and particularly its predecessor, Warsaw. Dingman's chop-saw, flanged guitar chords descend like a flock of angry birds, while Runnings declares, “Your black soap won’t get me clean.”

“Dark Good Friday” is equally frenetic, but showcases Runnings' unmistakable soaring vocal melodies while relying more heavily on Dingman’s meticulous, but always atmospheric, fretwork. Early flourishes of Hill’s trademark drumming are apparent, with every nook and cranny filled with decisive fills and cymbal crashes, on or off the downbeat.

The EP closes with “Amen Yves (White Circles)” - a previously unreleased mix of the fan favorite and European darkwave club staple. Equal parts dream- and dance-inducing, “Amen Yves (White Circles)” is a longer mix that showcases even more the interplay between Runnings' hypnotic vocals and the haunting triplet melodies that alternate between Dingman's guitar and guest flutist Erin Cerretta.

1. Black Soap (2:02)
2. Dark Good Friday (3:20)
3. Amen Yves (White Circles) (4:53)

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