Even Dischord diehards who can recount every twist of Ian MacKaye’s career may
not be familiar with Faith, the second band fronted by little brother Alec
MacKaye. But the short-lived quintet (which featured future members of Embrace
and Rites of Spring) played a crucial role in the development of D.C. hardcore,
bringing lyricism and counterpoint to a style known mostly for power and speed.
This reissue combines the band’s eight-song posthumous 1983
EP with 11 unreleased tracks recorded in 1981 by the month-old quartet (before
second guitarist Eddie Janney joined). There’s little overlap in material, the
older songs aren’t mere curiosities, and the earlier performances are as strong
(if blunter) than the later ones. And, since there wasn’t much difference
between demos and final versions in D.C. punk at the time, the sound quality is
comparable. Such shout-it-out numbers as “Say No More” and
“Subject to Change” may be the usual teenage plaints, but the agile
rhythm section and coiling guitars are too cool for high school.
DOWNLOAD: “Subject to
Change,” “Say No More” MARK JENKINS