Compound Red

December 2, 2006

compound red 

That’s it. We’re getting the band back together.

Anyone nostalgic for the college-alt-indie rock of yesteryear has to have had a pretty good year: The Pixies return. Mission to Burma return. The Afghan Whigs will be recording together again. Gorrilla Biscuits toured. Chavez, Texas is the Reason, and now Compound Red are playing shows. So, if we follow this behavior pattern to its logical conclusion, my band is inevitably getting back together. Break out the earplugs.

Compound Red was a midwestern emo band in the truest sense. They were a group of mild-mannered white kids who jumped in a van and played a melodic jangle of mid-tempo sing-songy rock, with vocals slightly whiny and slightly off key (which to me is the only way to sing emo). On the back of their record, Always a Pleasure (on DeSoto Records), they wore tight white T-shirts. None of them had the dorky black plastic frames, however. (I’m guessing none of them needed to wear glasses.) The band was contemporaries with other emo-rockers like The Promise Ring, Braid, The Get Up Kids and Jets to Brazil. (Though maybe more similar in scale to Mineral or Broken Hearts are Blue.) 

I picked up on their record while working as the music director at a college radio station, and thought it was a worthwhile effort, so I put it into heavy rotation. It never really caught on, and the band eventually broke up. So imagine my surprise when casually scanning some of my favorite blogs, that I discover Compound Red is playing a reunion show. Interesting. I’ve occasionally listened to Always A Pleasure over the years, but I sort of thought I might be the only one… so now these guys prove me wrong, and that’s great. They have also released a 2-disc anthology, available on their website.

So check it out, and be forewarned: I’m not missing out on the nostalgia and reliving the glory days. I’m getting the band back together. Stay tuned.  

Listen: Sticks, Angel Danced Away from their anthology, Louder Than Thenfrom The Condition EP, both available from their website. Always A Pleasure is out of print. Here are some tracks posted by the mighty Built on a Weak Spot: Versus the Ocean, Cancel the Sound, Sky.

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One Response to “Compound Red”

  1. Random T. Says:

    If you ever want to see a reader’s feedback 🙂 , I rate this article for 4/5. Decent info, but I just have to go to that damn yahoo to find the missed parts. Thanks, anyway!


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