Rail. And while my first (and only) foray into communal living concluded in Titanic-like fashion, my roommate turned me onto some phenomenal music in that brief time-span, and moreover, was solely responsible for enlightening me to a genre I had yet to familiarize myself with. I remember it like it was yesterday...
Up until that point, "Emo" merely signified the moniker of a mildly obnoxious comedian. That was until said roommate set me up with records by two bygone Washington D.C. acts - Rites of Spring and Embrace. Even at first blush, I had an appreciation for both of them, but they were acquired tastes that wouldn't really sink in for a few more months, whereas some of his other suggestions, like Rocket From the Crypt and J Church made a much more immediate impression. At any rate, I soon learned that he had his own emo aggregation, a ramshackle Rochester-by-way-of Buffalo quartet called Rail. It wasn't 'til we departed our dilapidated apartment that summer and went our separate ways that Rail issued their first record, 1994's Rolling Little Joe. A privately pressed 7" on 33 rpm, RLJ featured among two other tracks, an arresting A-side dubbed "Faith 51." The song was in reference to the botched seize of the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, TX in 1993. Sonically, Rail skewed toward D.C. post-hardcore, but possessed a melodic undercurrent as well. The Cali band Fuel from the late '80s/early'90s were definitely on the same wavelength I might add (and worth investigating).
A year later another 7" ep, Luke & Lauraland followed. This one was a tad last wrought and boasted even greater tuneful sensibilities. Upon it's release I don't remember hearing or seeing much of Rail again, although a full length was completed, which to my knowledge never saw the light of day. There was a split 45 with the Autobots that came out in 1996 with the band pared down to a trio. I assume they called it quits shortly thereafter.
Rolling Little Joe ep (1994, Supermang/Front Porch)
A. Faith 51
B1. Mine All Mine
Luke & Lauraland ep (1995, Red Dawg)
02. Cheerleader on Prozac
04. Luke & Lauraland