Friday, August 29, 2008

LaGrecia - On Parallels

LaGrecia broke up before they really got off the ground but, in doing the math, it's really not so much of a surprise. You may remember one Jason Shevchuk from his time fronting Kid Dynamite, or maybe Bound if you want to take it all the way back. You may also remember that Jason "decided to go back to school" and left KD pretty much high and dry, then "got back into music" when Fat Wreck offered him a deal for his medio-core None More Black project. With None More Black, Shevchuk pursued an ambitious plan: to have every able-bodied man, woman or child that could be drafted into the fold play in the band, ideally for as short a time as possible. After achieving their goal of becoming the LA Guns of the post-hardcore set, they too found themselves "on hiatus" while Shevchuk pursued his OnGuard solo project and then, most pertinently for today, our heroes LaGrecia.

While None More Black was a total snooze-fest, LaGrecia fires on all cylinders. Of all the material that Shevchuk has released post Kid Dynamite, Lagrecia is definitely the best of the lot. Hands down. It's a three piece, my favorite format, with Sal Dellaquila and Dana Berkowitz (Red Spaerows) filling out the rhythm section nicely. Save for the silly Zeppelin riff jock that opens the record, pretty much every song contained in On Parallels is catchy as hell. It doesn't hurt that Berkowitz plays her ass off all over the record either. The record sounds like a band, and a good one. Maybe even one that should be around today.

Buuuut. There was the small matter of two of the three members "saving money on the road" and "sharing a bed". Evidently the demise of that ill-fated (and incidentally the only relationship land mine that I've yet to jump on with both feet) dalliance also led to the end of the band. Judging by the responses from the other members of the band post-breakup, it's pretty obvious Dana used that powerful kick drum foot of hers to kick somebody to the curb.

Cue someone's decision to "pursue a career in broadcast" and the untimely end of LaGrecia. While Dana and Sal were none too pleased, I suspect that Virgil at Suburban Home none too that chuffed to find himself in the position Grey Flight found themselves in with The Cardinal Sin. It's never a good look to have money tied up in an independent project that you can't promote with a tour. Or to bail before you release a record someone else paid for. It's not the first time it's happened to a band/label, but if my female readers (ha!) will excuse my parlance, that sure seems like a Grade A bitch move on Shevchuk's part. Nobody wants to tour in the van with someone who dumped them, but a couple good faith weeks on the road seems like a mutually beneficial way to part ways for all parties involved.

To add insult to injury, a month or so after "hanging out for a weekend" with the ex-None More Black guys Shevchuk had NMB back in full swing, and conveniently still under contract with Fat Wreck. One can only assume there is a record coming. If it is boring as the last None More Bland record, we can only hope that it grinds into slow obscurity and makes this record sell that much more.

Help Virgil and the rest of Suburban Home out and pick up a copy of the record here. And yes, silly goose, they have it on vinyl