A Season of Songs, Day 71: Let Me Breathe

A Season of Songs is a type of Fun-A-Day project that I plan to do throughout this spring.  I’ll hit shuffle on the ol’ iPod and see what comes up.  I’ll then write a bit about that song, the band, the record, whatever.  Enjoy!

Today’s song is “Let Me Breathe” by 1.6 Band from their 1992 “Tongue Family Style” 7″.

I think I first got the 1.6 Band LP simply because it was on Gern Blandsten records, the record label run by Charles Maggio of Rorschach.  Maybe I had read a review or something.  I don’t remember.  I’m pretty sure I got it in a group mailorder order we had down with Blacklist Mailorder.  Not sure what I was expecting but I loved what I got.  Weird obtuse lyrics laid over kinda noodle-y/technical guitar parts with driving, yet varied drumming.  The vocals had a sort of higher pitched abrasiveness to them at times but were mostly just yelled hardcore vocals.  The songs had great titles like “Cancer In My Backyard”, “Adult Hitler” and “Keeping Me From Killing You”. They were definitely of the early 90’s emo era in some ways but had enough unique elements to make them stand out among the crowd.

I later tracked down this “Tongue Family Style” 7″ which actually came out before the LP.  4 more songs of the same. “Let Me Breathe” is  my favorite track on the record.  It’s not a record that I play frequently but it is one that really helps you appreciate the unique sound they created. Lyrics once again give you enough to paint a picture but not enough detail to give them totally away.  “You are the smoke that makes me choke.  You’re keeping the air from getting in.”

I’m not sure that their final 7″ (of their original period, they reunited years later and recorded one more EP) is their best work but it is my favorite just for it’s absurdity.  It is called “Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy” and does feature a rather un-PC for the time photo of a woman’s ass on the back cover.  The front cover includes a worker in a hard hat wiping his brow and a stack of money.  The first song on the record is called “Pushing Shit Back Into My Ass (Theme Song From “Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy”)”  and includes the lyrics “I barely made it through the day / They want me back tomorrow / The windows fog up / I write help on the windows / But they see it backwards”.  Great song, fun record.

All of the original 1.6 Band material is collected on a CD called “Broke Up”.  In my opinion, their stuff is worth hunting down and picking up.


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