Besides sludge, melodic punk, and the newest releases and reissues I've grabbed, vacations always send my musical choices in one final direction-- an often inebriated amble through the gleaming boardwalks of nostalgia. As my musical coming of age was in the nineties, it's not surprising that I should reunite with some Rights Reserved records this summer, a band with whom I made an instant connection so many years ago (first exposure was the Assfactor 4 split). The problem of genre is only a problem if one obsesses over it. If you're one of those, I'd say for a brief moment RR may have been called hardcore, in the same way Kerosene 454 was. Which is to say that in retrospect... they were not really that. The band, in their closing statement of the liner notes, chooses the self-deprecating "crappy rock" tag, which if you take time to read the lyrics, they seem like the types that would say that. I will gladly settle on indie rock/punk with a definite DC/Maryland feel. What brought instant camaraderie between me and RR's rock was the honest, confrontational, and ultimately cathartic way they handled the often overlooked, but extremely frightening dilemma of young adulthood. We come barreling out into the real world like a second birth, knowing everything and sneering at the masses who of course have it all wrong, ready to conquer the world, only to be repeatedly tripped up by the baggage of our past, and clothes-lined by our arrogance and ignorance. The boys in Rights Reserved, jaded before their time, knew this I think. Maybe they even understood how crucial those pitfalls would be in making us who we are. I can't say for sure, as the LP posted below was their last testament as a band. It's a bitter pill to swallow, but this band's tough love will get it down your gullet one way or another.
"Dear bicycle, I shall not call you bike, you were green, like so many of your generation, I don't know why. It is a pleasure to meet it again. To describe it at length would be a pleasure. It had a little red horn instead of the bell fashionable in your days. To blow this horn was a real pleasure, almost a vice... What a rest to speak of bicycles and horns."