Hope: And Songs To Sing
Altin Village & Mine
AVM 010 CD
AVM 010 LP
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1The Peoples Grocery Company 3:16
2Clip 5:20
3Two People Holding Hands 2:23
4I Heard It On The Radio 3:31
5Checkbook 4:48
6No Vocals #3 3:21
7Word Of Mouth 1:44
8The Afterthought 2:41
9Cost Of Profit 7:14
10Big Heart (As May Have Been Sung By Woody Gutherie)3:18

»Hope: and Songs To Sing« is an album that was admittedly put together after the band had ended, playing it's last few shows around Boston with Fugazi and Q and Not U seemed a fitting ending for a DC influenced band that hopefully tried to add its own language to the conversation. After their rather abstract album, »The Wind Blew All The Fires Out« (Second Nature) received a huge amount of peer praise and a lot of reviews along the lines of »It's a shame that not many people will understand what is going on here because this band is so talented and wonderful« (Hanging Like a Hex Magazine) the band, while touring extensively, put together quite a few new songs quickly for it's next album. Wanting at first to go even more abstract Mike Law tried to write a few »modern folk songs«, which in his mind were protest songs without any melodic chords, as heard in the albums opening song, a tribute to Ida B. Wells, »The People's Grocery Company«. If you listen closely it goes until the bridge before the guitar plays two notes that actually create melody together. As more songs were added the band slowly gave up on the conceptual and drifted toward reigning in some of the abstract of its previous album. Songs like »The Cost Of Profit« and »Clip« seemed the perfect combination of Law's goal of being called what he coined an »Off Rock« band, strange chords and dissident sounds that found melody within them. »Two People Holding Hands« another early song written for the album barely has a single guitar part that relies on anything more than ways of manipulating string noise, all held together by the spider web bass playing of Raiche as is most of the Eulcid catalog. By the time the band had a temporarily acrimonious split in 2002 after a nearly five year run that started as teenagers and a few hundred shows it was left with about 2/3s of a complete album. Cooler heads eventually prevailed and Law met with drummer Matt Redmond about a year later to begin rehearsing to document the songs they had walked away from. Law added a few new compositions like »(I Heard It) On the Radio«, »Word Of Mouth«, »Big Heart« and »Checkbook« initially intended for his new band New Idea Society to round off the album and make it more cohesive. The strength of the band is the ability to explore divergent tangents within the context of any given song, be it restrained or progressive, without ever losing their way, infusing them with an emotion and anthemic quality. Altin Village & Mine brought the full length to see the light of day on a limited vinyl edition and »The Wind Blew All The Fires Out« finally had a companion album the band was proud of and to illuminate where the off-rock might have gone.