June of 44 - Anahata [vinyl]

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June of 44 defines the term "indie rock" to a certain extent. The band's seminal arty and angular sound, plus its members' numerous fascinating side projects, helped make them incredibly influential throughout the underground music world. June of 44's unique mix of punk rock and post-rock evolved continuously throughout their career, thanks not only to the group's members' spirit of innovation, but also to their legions of imitators -- for awhile during the late nineties, you couldn't walk into a small club or basement show without hearing a band ripping off the last June of 44 album. This forced the band to reinvent themselves for each album to avoid stagnation.

June of 44's reluctance to tread the same soil for too long, their constant need to innovate and invent, might also have been due to geographic challenges, since all the group's members lived in different cities. This forced them to meet for limited periods of time to write and record each new album, but meant that each new project documented a unique moment in the divergant paths of the band's four members.

To be perfectly accurate, June of 44 alone wasn't responsible for pioneering this remarkably influential style. They continued to expand and synthesize the approaches of their Lousiville, KY musical brethren, such as their equally influential predecessor Slint, and vocalist/guitarist Jeff Mueller's earlier band Rodan.

June of 44 have unfortunately broken up. Some have called them an underground "super band" because all four members contributed so much to independent music prior to, during, and since the existence of the band. Since Rodan and June of 44, Mueller has gone on to pursue his new band Shipping News (which features another former Rodan member, Jason Noble), as a full-time endeavor. Fred Erskine, Sean Meadows, and Doug Scharin are working on a project called Him -- a faint extension of June of 44's last album, Anahata, featuring a larger cast of musicians wielding improvisation and the influence of Miles Davis to further the cause. Scharin has also played in Codeine, Rex, Out in Worship, Loftus, Drumhead, and Mice Parade. Meadows has worked with Lungfish, The Letter E, The Sonora Pine, and Everlasting the Way. Erskine's other projects have included Hoover, Crownhateruin, The Boom, and Abilene. You can bet that many more interesting contributions from each member are imminent.