For Against C/D, S/D

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Since I first heard them in 1987, I still don't know what to make of them.

The vocalist always kind of bugged me (but then so does Dave Gahan) and the music was prety minimal(istic).

But there was always something about them that made me listen.. maybe it was their excellent packaging.

Does anyone else even know who they are?

dave225 (Dave225), Thursday, 12 September 2002 11:12 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Yeah, One of my friends who is really into post-punk likes them a lot. I picked up one of thier records (Echelons) for him once, and I gave it a listen before handing it over. I liked it, but it seems like there are a lot of similar bands that do that kind of sound in a more unique and interesting way. Like the Chameleons or Echo & the Bunnymen.

A Nairn (moretap), Thursday, 12 September 2002 17:23 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

the "Don't do me any favours" 7" on Independent Project is ace. I've got the mini-LP but haven't listened to it yet

electric sound of jim (electricsound), Thursday, 12 September 2002 22:54 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

For Against main guy Jeffrey Runnings is the king of mope-rock. Their AMG entry is pretty dead on. Echelons is their first album and yeah, wears it's influences pretty obviously, but later ones are worth seeking. Acutally saw them live once - pretty good live too though they never tour.

Search: Mason's California Lunch Room, Shelf Life.

Chris Barrus (xibalba), Friday, 13 September 2002 04:16 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

one year passes...
For any interested, Words on Music have just released Echelons on CD for the first time. Me hopes the rest of their output will see reissue.

JC (JC A.), Wednesday, 28 July 2004 17:22 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Yeah, got that the other day and a beaut it is.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 28 July 2004 17:26 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Really nice packaging on this one. It's not a bad album, either.

abegrand, Wednesday, 28 July 2004 18:07 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

three months pass...
i've no idea why this thread didn't appear when i searched for it *sigh*

December is being reissued by WoM in the new year. i consider this to be excellent news...

the surface noise (slight return) (electricsound), Monday, 22 November 2004 22:36 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I'll be pickin' this one (Echelons) up.. I loved Echelons, but am not really wild about the later records..

Does the CD rerelease come with a stalk of wheat like the original LP did?

dave225 (Dave225), Monday, 22 November 2004 22:39 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

no, but the digipak is still v pretty.

the surface noise (slight return) (electricsound), Monday, 22 November 2004 22:40 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Also, do I need to sell my other for/against CDs before they get rereleased? I mean, are they fetching big money on Ebay right now?

dave225 (Dave225), Monday, 22 November 2004 22:42 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Very. It's quite a spectacular album that has turned into one of my long time favorites over the years, something that I consistently listen to. Andy Kellman has a crackerjack review up for it at the AMG -- I was lucky enough to be able to review the Echelons reissue.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Monday, 22 November 2004 22:42 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Darned x-posts! The 'it' I refer to is December.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Monday, 22 November 2004 22:43 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

one month passes...
Fuck, December is stunning. I got Echelons based on Ned's NYLPM review and thought it was pretty cool, but I think on that they were just very good at doing the whole Chameleons dynamic, whereas on December they've totally mastered it (it floors me on 'They Said' when it suddenly switches to a different riff and he sings 'all the things they said...'). 'December' also suggests they had the Comsat Angels understated-but-epic shit down-pat as well. At the same time, I like that rather than end with a lumbering Comsat-epic they just have 'Clandestine High Holy' end with this big fuck-off sky-scraping guitar outro.

There's definitely an improvement in the guy's voice as well, I dunno if he just learnt to use it better or the production helped or both, there's just something I find really likeable about it.

The other thread says they've reformed, any word on what's happening with that?

Ferg, Ah (Ferg), Wednesday, 29 December 2004 03:10 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I think on that they were just very good at doing the whole Chameleons dynamic, whereas on December they've totally mastered it

I freely agree -- it's a quantum leap, December is THE album of theirs still to get. (Also, an AMG review rather than NYLPM, surely. ;-))

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 29 December 2004 03:39 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I probably looked it up on AMG after you mentioned its reissue on NYLPM, I guess.

Ferg, Ah (Ferg), Wednesday, 29 December 2004 03:48 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Rah, as they say!

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 29 December 2004 03:52 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

The system works!

Ferg, Ah (Ferg), Wednesday, 29 December 2004 03:56 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

You're right on the money with the Comsats comparison - it was actually the singer of FA (Jeff Runnings) that first introduced me to the Comsats many years ago! Or at least he tried to - I didn't really get it at first.

I haven't played December in a very very long time. Their latest one, Coalesced is very nice, though. (that is one hard word to spell - coalesced)

Bimble..., Wednesday, 29 December 2004 04:52 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

if anyone wants Echelons mail me

Rizz (Rizz), Wednesday, 29 December 2004 09:57 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

four months pass...
having acquired everything of theirs bar December i have decided this band are one of my firm favourites of all time. the guitar sounds are just wonderful.

shine headlights on me (electricsound), Wednesday, 4 May 2005 05:00 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

one month passes...
Bought Echelons and I'm quite enjoying it, and I'm anticipating the reissue of December -- I just heard the title track and it's astonishing.

Ian Riese-Moraine: exposing ambitious careerists as charlatans since 1986. (East, Saturday, 18 June 2005 19:40 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Whoah, Coalesced's fucking amazing as well...

M Annoyman (Ferg), Saturday, 2 July 2005 15:02 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...
it is indeed.

the re-ish of December is out 23rd August. excited! new artwork is lovely too.

shine headlights on me (electricsound), Thursday, 21 July 2005 02:45 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

words on music are also reissuing the lucy show's "mania" later this year, looks pretty interesting...

shine headlights on me (electricsound), Thursday, 21 July 2005 02:46 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Ahh, bloody, I was going to post about it but you got to me first!

Kitten, the body needs it, the body cries out for Ian Riese-Moraine! (Eastern Ma, Friday, 22 July 2005 19:41 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

one month passes...
you bought this yet R-M?

jimmy glass (electricsound), Thursday, 25 August 2005 03:55 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Oddly enough, guess what finally came in the mail today and to which I listen to now... (I have yet to see the videos on the rerelease.)

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 25 August 2005 04:01 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

No, I don't have PayPal and so I can't get it until it officially comes out next month. Goddamn it.

What's the first line in the chorus of "Clandestine High Holy"? The closest I can get to discerning it is "I held up their passage" although I know that's not the lyric. I've been playing that song all day, though. Those first two albums have very quickly joined the ranks among my favourite records. I'm almost always in the mood to hear them.

Ian Riese-Moraine: a casualty of social estrangement. (Eastern Mantra), Friday, 26 August 2005 15:31 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

just ordered mine. and i found a lucy show 45 the other day (50 cents!) to prepare myself for that particular reissue..

jimmy glass (electricsound), Saturday, 27 August 2005 00:11 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I've listened to December a half dozen times since i got it on friday. whilst it's a great rough diamond of a record i don't think it's better than Coalesced. I probably prefer Aperture too, but i could understand why people wouldn't.

jimmy glass (electricsound), Monday, 5 September 2005 00:36 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

one year passes...
OHHH YEAHHH

December 24, 2006
For Against, starting its 24th year as one of America's most beloved trios, is now officially in the studio recording their as yet untitled 7th album to be released by Words On Music in 2007. The band has worked up more than a dozen songs over the past two years with original guitarist Harry Dingman rejoining the group in 2004 - sixteen years after his departure. Dingman joins original singer/bassist Jeffrey Runnings and drummer Paul Engelhard who has played in For Against since 1990. For Against will be playing two shows in Athens, Greece in mid-March which include some of this new material.

electric sound of jim [and why not] (electricsound), Thursday, 4 January 2007 00:49 (eleven years ago) Permalink

they love the gothy dreampop in greece (see also: puressence)

electric sound of jim [and why not] (electricsound), Thursday, 4 January 2007 00:50 (eleven years ago) Permalink

words on music are also reissuing in the marshes! yay!

electric sound of jim [and why not] (electricsound), Thursday, 4 January 2007 00:50 (eleven years ago) Permalink

This is fantastic news!

(hands up if anyone else here has seen For Against live)

Elvis Telecom (Chris Barrus), Thursday, 4 January 2007 02:20 (eleven years ago) Permalink

god i wish!

electric sound of jim [and why not] (electricsound), Thursday, 4 January 2007 02:21 (eleven years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

this thread is very difficult to search for!

the new album is great - perhaps not quite 'coalesced' great, but how do you follow up one of the greatest dream pop albums of all time? easily their second best album anyway, all the anger and force of december with the songwriting maturity of coalesced.

i don't know if i prefer angry runnings to happier runnings but dude has a way with a bitter lyric

difficult to pick a favourite (on my third listen now) but underestimate and why are you so angry are up there. section 25 cover is nice but interestingly one of the weaker moments here..

electricsound, Thursday, 13 March 2008 00:55 (ten years ago) Permalink

dingman is definitely a wilder/darker guitarist than the other dude

electricsound, Thursday, 13 March 2008 00:57 (ten years ago) Permalink

so good

electricsound, Thursday, 13 March 2008 23:11 (ten years ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

anyone else heard this yet? it's growing nicely..

there's a similar vibe in this record to sleater-kinney's the hot rock, although maybe a bit more angry

electricsound, Tuesday, 8 April 2008 23:33 (ten years ago) Permalink

My thoughts

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 8 April 2008 23:47 (ten years ago) Permalink

i think the section 25 parallels are very apt.. quite a rare thing to hear bands making what feels like their most alive/'passionate' music two decades or more after they began

electricsound, Wednesday, 9 April 2008 04:14 (ten years ago) Permalink

your review has already been quoted in the words on music news ned!

electricsound, Thursday, 10 April 2008 00:28 (ten years ago) Permalink

Really? Neat.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 10 April 2008 00:36 (ten years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

this album is really great, guys

listen to it

electricsound, Thursday, 5 June 2008 23:56 (ten years ago) Permalink

I have been!

Elvis Telecom, Friday, 6 June 2008 00:19 (ten years ago) Permalink

eleven months pass...

I like listening to Echelons at work, like, all the time, it helps me concentrate somehow. I think because it sends me back to my teenage years even though I'd never heard it when it came out - which is odd, because 1987 Cure/Bunnymen/Xymox etc loving me would have eaten this shit up.

chk chk BOOM! (Trayce), Thursday, 28 May 2009 03:34 (nine years ago) Permalink

they have a new EP due out in a month or two, yay

jump in the looool (electricsound), Thursday, 28 May 2009 03:53 (nine years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

happy happy happy happy happy

Just a little over one year after the release of their critically lauded Shade Side Sunny Side record, For Against’s eighth album, Never Been, will be released on Words On Music this Autumn (ETA: late October). The new record is the second with original guitarist Harry Dingman since his return to the band in 2004 after a 15-year absence, and the first with drummer Nick Buller, who has toured with the band on their last three European tours.

Never Been contains nine new songs: "Sameness," "Different Departures," "Black Willows," "Antidote," "Of a Time," "Per Se," "Specificity," "The Tenebrists," and "You Fade."

Words On Music will announce preorders for the release in the coming weeks.

more posts that will never be released (electricsound), Thursday, 23 July 2009 23:16 (nine years ago) Permalink

Hooray! I read a review of a recentish show that just sounded tremendous. Can't wait!

Elvis Telecom, Friday, 24 July 2009 00:16 (nine years ago) Permalink

Great to see these folks all just keeping on. :-)

Ned Raggett, Friday, 24 July 2009 00:16 (nine years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

http://www.words-on-music.com/WM27.html

i am so fucking excited

electric sound of jim (original version) (electricsound), Monday, 28 September 2009 01:13 (nine years ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

New album's very good indeed, one of their best I'd say.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 23 October 2009 03:55 (nine years ago) Permalink

*jealous* mine's still in transit!!

undergrad lovers (electricsound), Friday, 23 October 2009 03:59 (nine years ago) Permalink

VERY good, the more I listen. There's some strong moments of ominous drama and variety on here I've never heard them try to my knowledge, while still very much sounding like themselves.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 23 October 2009 04:07 (nine years ago) Permalink

i think yet again there's a very different mood to this record - where coalesced is the 'up' record and Sx4 is the 'angry' record, this one feels a lot more intense and resigned, and possibly their gothiest since december. i've only heard it through five times so far but i already know it's one of their best and will definitely end up amongst my top three for the year

if i had to complain i'd say that the two instrumentals make it feel a bit EPish overall, but then coalesced only had 7 tracks, one an instrumental, and is as perfect as a record can be.

any old tawny port in a storm (electricsound), Tuesday, 27 October 2009 12:10 (nine years ago) Permalink

Man, these guys just keep coming up with the good stuff huh

MPx4A, Tuesday, 27 October 2009 15:27 (nine years ago) Permalink

i'm hearing a bit of early puressence in this record too

any old tawny port in a storm (electricsound), Wednesday, 28 October 2009 02:38 (nine years ago) Permalink

I was just gonna come looking for this thread. Is Shade Side Sunny Side worth getting? I just had a quick listen on emusic and the first track sounds phenomenally dark and gloomy, I liked it a lot. I'm much more a fan of Echelons than anything later so I'm thinking I would?

i obtain much semillon (Trayce), Wednesday, 28 October 2009 03:03 (nine years ago) Permalink

it's a very dark and quite angry record - i adore it, but then i would. 'underestimate' and 'why are you so angry' from it are among my very favourite FA songs

any old tawny port in a storm (electricsound), Wednesday, 28 October 2009 03:08 (nine years ago) Permalink

I will obtain much downloads now then woot.

i obtain much semillon (Trayce), Wednesday, 28 October 2009 03:22 (nine years ago) Permalink

Oh good lord "why are you so angry" is a sad song.

i obtain much semillon (Trayce), Wednesday, 28 October 2009 04:33 (nine years ago) Permalink

i think i've probably posted this elsewhere but the whole album sounds to me like a kiss-off to a dying former friend

any old tawny port in a storm (electricsound), Wednesday, 28 October 2009 04:34 (nine years ago) Permalink

Dying in the literal sense? I'll have to listen to the whole thing when I get home, reluctant to hammer the emusic at work.

i obtain much semillon (Trayce), Wednesday, 28 October 2009 04:42 (nine years ago) Permalink

dying or sick, maybe..

any old tawny port in a storm (electricsound), Wednesday, 28 October 2009 04:44 (nine years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

'of a time' is *devastating*

indie spare (electricsound), Wednesday, 11 November 2009 23:13 (nine years ago) Permalink

six months pass...

"new" 7" of very early unreleased recordings out in a couple of months, first of a series apparently, yay

http://www.words-on-music.com/WM29.html

lemon lime & butters (electricsound), Sunday, 30 May 2010 23:03 (eight years ago) Permalink

five months pass...

the 45 is way delayed but soundclips are up on the above link, the tracks sound pretty great to me

xanaxdu (electricsound), Friday, 19 November 2010 10:32 (eight years ago) Permalink

three months pass...

And the CD version of said early tracks just arrived in the mail. Lovely stuff.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 11 March 2011 02:35 (seven years ago) Permalink

woo

hope there's a new album on the way..

australian rules football quarterback (electricsound), Friday, 11 March 2011 02:36 (seven years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

signed to captured tracks?

our love will change the world (electricsound), Monday, 14 May 2012 04:41 (six years ago) Permalink

looks like it

akm, Monday, 14 May 2012 06:20 (six years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

well this looks like it will be fucking beautiful

http://pitchfork.com/news/47006-captured-tracks-to-release-for-against-box-set/

beater drummer (electricsound), Wednesday, 27 June 2012 22:42 (six years ago) Permalink

So, I came to these guys late (about ten years ago) and I've found their three 90's pretty evasive in second hand shops. The albums I'm talking about are Aperture, Mason's California Lunch Room and Shelf Life.

I've never actually heard any of these — can anyone more well-versed in these guys expound how they place in the bigger picture of the band's discography?

Austin, Thursday, 28 June 2012 00:34 (six years ago) Permalink

aperture is probably the most "80s indie rock" of the lot, quite a tinny sound but good songs.

mason's is imo their weakest and most samey-sounding but it's still a decent record.

shelflife definitely shows where they were headed with coalesced, though the sound is still a little thin. probably my favourite record of their IPR period, 'lilacs' and 'shadow' rate among their best tracks

beater drummer (electricsound), Thursday, 28 June 2012 00:48 (six years ago) Permalink

These guys were devastating at the Big Takeover 30th anniversary show, much much more muscular and intense than on record.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Thursday, 28 June 2012 00:59 (six years ago) Permalink

i'm hoping this reissue stuff is a precursor to some new material v soon

beater drummer (electricsound), Thursday, 28 June 2012 01:06 (six years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

So that box set should be out soon. Meantime, if anyone needs it...

http://wilfullyobscure.blogspot.com/2012/03/for-against-shelf-life-1997-independent.html

(Not on iTunes, Amazon copies are $30 and up.)

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 12 September 2012 05:09 (six years ago) Permalink

recommended album, 'lilacs' and 'shadow' both among my top FA tracks

yo is it true mcanus got sonned by a disco after a sunno))) beef (electricsound), Wednesday, 12 September 2012 05:18 (six years ago) Permalink

Indeed!

Meantime, an update -- Captured Tracks have pushed back the release by a couple of months, so look for the box in December or January.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 13 September 2012 01:24 (six years ago) Permalink

six months pass...

no more new material, apparently

http://www.sicmagazine.net/articles/1281/interview-jeff-runnings-from-for-against

kiss magritte (electricsound), Thursday, 4 April 2013 21:14 (five years ago) Permalink

Great interview. Kind of a downer tone to the whole thing not just that announcement, though.

xpost: Thanks for that link, Ned. Would love to see proper reissues of that stuff. But I'll take what I can get in the meantime.

Austin, Friday, 5 April 2013 00:17 (five years ago) Permalink

One listen to Shelf Life and I have to say yes to the person upthread that said it's a good starting point for where they would go with Coalesced.

However, I got to the last track ('Seascape') and let out a small squeal when I realized it's a cover of the Tracey Thorn song! And a good one, too!

Austin, Friday, 5 April 2013 02:06 (five years ago) Permalink

i guess it shouldn't surprise me that drinking played a significant part in his music, there is a strong vibe of dependence running through a lot of his latterday lyrics

it would be a damn shame if runnings didn't do a solo record at some point. someone needs to lean on him a bit

de stijlled (electricsound), Friday, 5 April 2013 02:26 (five years ago) Permalink

seven months pass...

box is up for preorder

http://capturedtracks.com/catalog/store/ct-167-168-169-for-against-box-set/

kel's vintage port (electricsound), Thursday, 7 November 2013 22:40 (five years ago) Permalink

That price tag, oof!

Austin, Friday, 8 November 2013 14:37 (five years ago) Permalink

looks like IPR have reissued 'shelflife' digitally, hopefully more to follow

kel's vintage port (electricsound), Wednesday, 20 November 2013 22:21 (five years ago) Permalink

hopes rewarded, masons c.l. & aperture now back in print digitally

kel's vintage port (electricsound), Thursday, 21 November 2013 23:58 (five years ago) Permalink

Nice!

Ned Raggett, Friday, 22 November 2013 00:00 (five years ago) Permalink

Meantime:

http://www.amazon.com/Shelf-Life-For-Against/dp/B000005LBI/ref=ntt_mus_ep_dpi_9

Audio CD, 1997 -- New: $1,342.94 Used: $74.92

Hooray oh wait

Ned Raggett, Friday, 22 November 2013 00:02 (five years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

There's two at that price!

One in Texas, one in Japan.

That's just about as hilarious and awesome as I could hope for.

Austin, Saturday, 7 December 2013 22:33 (five years ago) Permalink

four months pass...

This was very fun/satisfying to write:

http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/18980-for-against-box-set/

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 17 April 2014 14:19 (four years ago) Permalink

nice one

denial plan (electricsound), Thursday, 17 April 2014 23:22 (four years ago) Permalink

Great read Ned. I love that Captured Tracks is doing such great work reissuing all of this stuff, but I do wish they'd do an occassional CD release for these box sets too.

djenter the dragon? (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Friday, 18 April 2014 18:03 (four years ago) Permalink

The CD versions were already out on Words on Music so this is more exactly for the vinyl crowd.

Ned Raggett, Saturday, 19 April 2014 23:11 (four years ago) Permalink

the song Coalesced. now that is how you write a fucking coda.

charlie h, Monday, 21 April 2014 01:08 (four years ago) Permalink

The CD versions were already out on Words on Music so this is more exactly for the vinyl crowd.

Gotcha! Thanks for clarifying. I guess I was assuming again based on the Cleaners From Venus sets. Or are those out on CD somewhere too?

djenter the dragon? (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Monday, 21 April 2014 15:26 (four years ago) Permalink

nine months pass...

new material forthcoming in the form of a runnings solo record

http://lazy-i.com/2015/01/jeff-runnings-for-against-signs-to-saint-marie-new-album-in-late-summer/

don't ask me why i posted this (electricsound), Wednesday, 21 January 2015 01:16 (three years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

It's out now! And really good. All my moody gay summer anthems are on here. It's basically what you'd expect a Harry Dingman-less For Against album to sound like in 2016, but also something of a departure. If, like me, you love Bob Mould's Modulate...

geoffreyess, Thursday, 23 June 2016 01:33 (two years ago) Permalink

Also Runnings has a way of writing lyrics where you can't tell if he's singing about relationship troubles or just honoring the other person's layers of unknowability. He's recently married I seem to recall.

geoffreyess, Thursday, 23 June 2016 01:37 (two years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

Quick note that a PledgeMusic campaign to get the 90s albums back in print is at 99% with just a couple of days to go.

https://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/foragainst

Filled in a corner by ordering the repress of _Shelf Life_ on CD, the one album I've never physically owned. So hey, help 'em out if you can!

Ned Raggett, Saturday, 19 May 2018 03:48 (six months ago) Permalink

Quick addition that they made their goal so these will be coming along.

Ned Raggett, Saturday, 19 May 2018 20:59 (six months ago) Permalink

six months pass...

got those 90s reissues in the mail today -- sounding great :)

geoffreyess, Saturday, 1 December 2018 23:40 (two weeks ago) Permalink


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