The heavily bootlegged first demo from Rites of Spring is set for its first official release later this month and the first preview track is now online. Click here to listen to “By Design” courtesy of Brooklyn Vegan. The demo was recorded April 1984 at Inner Ear Studios with Don Zientara and Ian MacKaye and was remastered in 2012 by TJ Lipple. The cover art, track list and a description of the release from the label can be seen below. Six Song Demo is due out October 23.
1) End on End
3) Persistent Vision
4) Hain’s Point
5) All There Is
6) By Design
Before they even played a show — the band recorded a six-song demo tape at Inner Ear with Don Zientara and Ian MacKaye… After the dissolution of their previous band, Insurrection, in 1983, Canty, Picciotto, and Fellows joined with Faith guitarist Eddie Janney and began writing new songs. Unfortunately, just as they became ready to play out, Fellows announced plans to relocate to Los Angeles, effectively ending the band before it even got started. Before the bassist departed, the group decided to go to Inner Ear to document the handful of finished songs that they had written. At this point, not only had they never played a show, Rites of Spring hadn’t even settled on a name (on the tapes, Zientara listed the sessions as Insurrection II)…
The sessions were notable for being the first time that anybody had heard Picciotto sing. At the time, few bands had access to a PA system during practice and the volume of the other instruments often blotted out vocals. Shortly after tracking was completed, Fellows hit the road and the recordings were mixed in his absence, hence the Beatles-inspired “Mike Fellows is dead,” gag at the end of “By Design.” …there was no plan to officially release the recording, so the completed songs were dubbed onto cassette tapes and given out to friends, who passed them along to others… These six songs capture Rites of Spring in its earliest stages. Once the band started playing out, the songs gained velocity and intensity (see the 7-minute plus version of “End on End” that closes their LP), but many of the elements that defined their music – frenzied energy, sharp melodies, and introspective lyrics — were already very much in place.