For Against – December

“December” originally came out in 1988 on Independent Project Records, a now defunct label which released quite a lot of For Against’s music. This role now seems to have been taken over by Words-on-Music, which in the last years also reissued For Against’s debut “Echelons” as well as released their 2002 comeback album “Coalesced”.

“December” contains nine still fresh sounding melancholic and melodic songs. Just like on “Echelons”, the sound hovers somewhere between postpunk and the indie guitar music of the late 80’s, but probably even more convincing. The melodic dark bass sound remind of the early 80’s Manchester bands, the dynamic drums provide quite some energy while the chiming guitarwork on ‘December” is inventive and atmospheric. The vocals of singer / bassist Jeffrey Runnings sound relatively smooth and friendly, though with an introspective, emotional touch.

Certainly a convincing album, with focused songs and For Against sounding like a tight band. There is also enough variation between energetic guitar rock songs like ‘Paperwhites’ and slower moody pieces like ‘The Effect’. In other words, it’s a good thing that “December” is back in circulation again. For this reissue “December” has been remastered and it comes in a newly designed digipack. . Furthermore two rare videos have been included of songs from “Echelons”, which form a nice nostalgic trip to the late 80’s.

artist: For Against
label: Words on Music
details: 9 tracks, 36 min, 2005 [WM16]