steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

For Against

"December" CD

Words On Music

Genres: dream pop, jangle pop

December 2005

Words on Music continues its series of For Against reissues with December, their sophomore album and, according to many critics, their best. Listening in, it's not hard to see why these guys are called the most underrated band of the late eighties. Though they were never picked up by 4AD, it's hard to see why; these nine songs are a wonderful sample of the type of urgent, jangly pop that made this era so appealing.

December starts strongly right off the bat with "Sabres," a fast and dire slab of jangly dream pop with a strong Joy Division vibe. It's the sense of intenseness and importance that makes the song so powerful. But the key to December's underlying success - what keeps you coming back, if you will - goes far beyond the superficial sound of the band. It's the little details, the nice touches that work in For Against's favour. Be it the colossal riffs in the chorus of "They Said" or the ever-growing snowball of sound that is the title-track, there's so much to love in this record that it lasts you far longer than most.

There's a reason albums like this are reissued. Pick up December as soon as you can.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 9 tracks, 36.2 min, distributed by the label, orig. released 1988, reissued 2005]