Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Re-up: The Verge - Habitual 7" ep +2 (1983)

Per the title above this is a re-upload, but then again that may not be saying much since virtually every download link shared on these pages from our 2007 inception to January of this year was stifled in one fell swoop when my file-hoster of six years, Rapidshare, pulled the plug on the "library" Obscura.  I've made significant gains in restoring the majority of said links, but I thought I'd re-do this one entirely, given it's significance to me and so many of you who originally downloaded it since it made it's digital debut in November of 2007.  In this iteration, I've re-ripped the record from scratch, editing out the more extraneous surface annoyances, and I've doubled the bit rate.  If that weren't enough, I've expanded the sleeve art considerably.

The Verge were a phenomenal and relatively short-lived Albany, NY post-punk trio, who recorded a small body of work during their early-80s lifespan, with an even more minute segment of those recordings having been made available for public consumption.  From what I've been informed by band personnel (as well as the thoughtful testimonies of some ardent Verge aficionados left in the comments portion of my original entry) the Habitual ep and a contribution to the Albany-centric, 1982 compilation record Hudson Rock, comprise the group's scarce surviving fossil record.

The Verge's regrettably limited oeuvre was nonetheless deliriously visceral, bearing flashing signposts to such period luminaries as Joy Division, Killing Joke, Mission of Burma, and even a dab of pre-ego U2.  Not plagiarism so much as compulsive inspiration, The Verge's revisionism married a sweeter guitar tone to the demi-nihilistic angst of the aforementioned.  One arguable exception to this winning formula is "Picturesque," whose dive-bomb salvos of serrated power chords elevates the trio's game to a doubly more fearsome level.  That comp cut I mentioned, "1-2-3-4-5-6" is also situated on a different plateau, and functions much better as a one-off track than it would have served on the ep.  As a bonus, I'm sharing the heretofore unreleased jewel, "Day and Age," which was furnished to me by a Verge alum himself.  How's that for gratitude?

If you haven't had the opportunity to immerse yourself in these recordings before, it's never too late.  As for the rest of you, please treat yourself to an upgrade.  If you fancy what you hear, you'd do well to enlighten yourself by reading the copious comments section from my original write-up

Habitual ep
1. Tradition
2. Understand
3. Picturesque
4. Hypocrisy

1-2-3-4-5-6 (from Hudson Rock compilation)
Day and Age (unreleased!)



Dan Geist said...

Prime stuff--thank you!! As a completionist, I focus on the 1977-80 period, but your description compelled me, and boy am I grateful. I actually don't hear that much JD, but you nailed it with Killing Joke/Burma/and (perfect) pre-ego U2. We native Manhattanites love to dis on our state capital, but The Verge do Albany proud. DAMN good.

spavid said...

Thanks for the kind words Dan. This is a phenomenal piece of music, to say the least!

Kevin said...

Please re-up this link

spavid said...

Just fixed the link.

FranksLivingRheumatism said...

Hi, Can you fix the link again? I lived in Albany for a number of years in the early & mid-1980s and while I regretfully never saw The Verge live, I met two of the band members around Albany a bunch of times and was going to record some rubbish I had in my head in Tom Rella's recording studio but never got it done. The two I met (Rella and Murray) were really nice, down to earth guys. Rella was a relatively quiet, introspective, introverted guy with a lot of gears turning in his head. He was a kind of Keith Levene meets Brian Eno mash up. Musically brilliant guy who coulda been a contender if he'd grown up in NYC, L.A. or London and had a chance to shine in the light instead of in the dark sphincter of the Hudson that was Albany/Troy NY. I'd give my eye teeth to get my hands on all their unreleased recordings.