Garden Variety – s/t (1993)/Knocking The Skill Level(1995)

Posted: October 19, 2010 in Uncategorized
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Garden Variety were a phenomenal emo trio formed on Long Island in 1991. Now when I tag them with that dreaded “e” word, it should be noted that these guys were as the center of the genre in its prolific heyday. Of course, with that said, Garden Variety was heavily influenced by the D.C. emo bands of the later half of the 80’s. But just as much as they incorporated the sounds of those bands (Lungfish, later period Dag Nasty,Hoover), they incorporated their own melodic and distorted guitar stylings into the songs. The result is an angular and urgent, yet accessible and catchy sound.

After a self released 1992 7″ep, the band , Anthony Roman – bass/vocals, Anthony Rizzo – guitar, and Joe Gorelick – drums, signed to New Jersey indie label Gern Blandsten. In 1993, they released their eponymous titled first full length album. Although the album is an excellent collection of 13 songs, the band’s layered sound wasn’t done justice by the production. That would be rectified on Garden Variety’s second, and unfortunately last, album. For this effort, entitled Knocking The Skill Level, the band signed with Cargo/Headhunter , a solid and well funded independent label and distributor out of San Diego. On this album, they enlisted producer Mark Trombino to ensure a fully realized sound. This proved to be a success as the album is certainly one of the greatest “emo” records of the 90’s. Halfway between Superchunk and Drive Like Jehu, both the melodic and abrasive tendencies of the band are efficiently showcased.

Soon after the release of Knocking The Skill Level, Garden Variety disbanded. Roman and Rizzo went on to form Radio 4 while Gorelick joined Bluetip and then later Marah.

Here is the video for Harbored, one of the amazing songs on Knocking The Skill Level, followed by both LPs.

                           Garden Variety – s/t (1993)


                     Knocking The Skill Level – (1995)

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