Winter Hours. It didn't take much searching to determine that Ward 8 was a precursor to Winter Hours, a New Jersey folk/alt rock five-piece who seemed to accrue endless critical praise in the 1980s. The three songs occupying the Ward 8 side appear to be exclusive to this homemade release, with none of them carrying over to the spate of eventual Winter Hours recordings. Like many indie hopefuls of the era, these folks fixed their gaze on Athens, GA after being flabbergasted by Chronic Town and Murmur. When Ward 8 gave way to Winter Hours, so did much of that pervasive R.E.M. influence. The four W/H songs represented here (tracks 4-7) found their way onto the first two ep's the band cut for Link Records, which I regard to be the best foot they put forward. The Hours rendition of "All Along the Watchtower" is transformed into something more placid and sublime than Hendrix or Dylan could've likely imagined.
As a bonus, I'm also including a revealing 1984 demo version of Winter Hour's signature song, "Hyacinth Girl." A fairly thorough bio is available on the band's Myspace Page.
03. Trial & Error
05. At a Turtle's Pace
06. Simple John
07. All Along the Watchtower
plus: Hyacinth Girl (demo)
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