SOULSIDE: Less Deep Inside Keeps: CD

Mid-’80s DC punk was a strange beast. Sandwiched between the descent of what is now called harDCore, popularized by Minor Threat, Government Issue and others, and the ascent of the proto-emo scene kick-started by Rites of Spring and Embrace, a lot of bands coming out of the area at the time seemed hell-bent on broadening their horizons a bit, resulting in considerable experimentation. What often resulted was a sound firmly rooted in the past, yet paving the way for what was soon to follow, a sound exemplified by the output of bands like Marginal Man, Second Wind and, later, Soulside. Recently reissued by Dischord, Soulside’s 1987 debut screams with Minor Threat influence, particularly that band’s 1983 Out of Step EP, but there’s also a slew of other influences at work, resulting in numerous mid-tempo rock tunes and acoustic guitars, not to mention considerably less screaming than their hardcore forebears employed and considerably more balls put into their efforts than most of their present-day descendents employ. While some of the songs here are not exactly jaw-dropping good Soulside were indeed a good band that weren’t afraid to indulge some creativity between stage dives. 

 –jimmy (Dischord)