Monday, June 6, 2011

FESTER 'Liquid Faith' cassette


first 'local' band i eva heard. story goes like this:

when i was living in virginia i had this friend scott, who had a brother. joe. joe had a good friend named bill, who rode the same bus as me. i didn't know him too well tho'. this is about 4th grade for me. scott (and his brother)(and the rest of their family) moved away not too much later (to arizona i think? someone can correct me if they want); after seventh grade i moved to ohio.

turns out scott (and his family) moved right down the street from me right soon after. weird.

anyhow, bill came to visit joe (who i'd gotten to be good friends with by that point - we rode skateboards and joe had a nintendo, 'nuff said) some summer and i got to know him better as well. joe and i were checking out a lot of the same musick (mostly the sst bands in all the santa cruz videos), but bill and i's tastes were eerily similar. he hipped me to a lotta stuff (some that he's probably ashamed of now, like the lemonheads) and we taped a lotta each other's finds. one of the things bill brought with him that summer was a tape of a band from just outside our town in virginia - a band whose flyers i'd been handed when i lived there but whose shows i was just too young to actually go to. fester.

i suppose fester are a typical high school band from the mid-/late-'80s but for me they royally kick the asses of all the bands i've heard that they might be compared to. even tho' their beyond-perfect opening track "jerrychrist" is an "anarchy in the UK" rewrite (and who didn't need another one of those in 1989), the riff goes the original one better, the guitar is several shades more wicked (ah, those dod/practice amp tones!), the tune itself is way catchier, and the band is holding onto its own existence by a quickly corroding thread in a way the media hinted at as far as the pistols were concerned but which felt like a jokey lie when you listened to the frankly steely dan-worthy recordings on their '…bollocks' record. plus, like half of fester's songs had lyrics concerned solely with the old asshole on the hill over our town, jerry fucking falwell - a much more relatable foe for us than all the tiresome politics of boredom the pistols copped a pose about.

the tape jumps all over the place - fester were some kind of haphazard geniuses, stylistically - from intentionally bad reggae to plodding hardcore to lurching crossover with breaks from time to time for let's-see-who-can't-keep-up-this-time covers of the 'sesame street' and 'beverly hillbillies' themes. it's heavyhanded sometimes in the way that only 17-yr-olds can be, and it fucking shines for it. the way they conjure late-summer afternoons jamming in a crummy shed over too many cokes and a buncha stale doritos has yet to be even close to equaled by anything else i've run across (please send me yr entries in this category, tho'!). one of my alltime faves. RECOMMENDED FOR EVERY FUCKING BODY EVER.


1 comment:

  1. How cool is it to find somebody who really dug your old tape so much they bothered to write a post about it over 20 later? And put up the music for download - thank you!
    This is Phlegm and I put the band together with Scott Warner (Fish) in the summer of '89. That was the only recording released in that line-up. Fester reformed briefly with new members in 1991 and did an EP length demo tape. Fester ceased to exist after 92 and the members are scattered about God-knows-where.
    All I can say is it kicks my ass that someone "got it" and enjoyed our music. In hindsight that was the most fun I ever had in a band. Thanks again!
    - Phlegm