Circle’s Unbroken

May 29, 2012

Rites of Spring’s self-titled 1985 LP is the best record Dischord ever released. Label co-owner Ian MacKaye’s seminal bands Minor Threat and Fugazi have had the most impact on punk. But Lungfish, above, is the group that built Dischord’s greatest discography, which now has a surprising addition.

Formed 25 years ago in Baltimore, Lungfish released 11 albums of taut, hypnotic, crafted trance-punk. The group has been dormant since 2005’s “Feral Hymns,” but singer Daniel Higgs and guitarist Asa Osborne have worked on solo projects (Zomes) and collaborations (Skull Defekts). Now, Dischord has added to Lungfish’s legacy with the new “A.C.R. 1999,” a collection of 10 previously unreleased recordings. While six of the tunes were rerecorded for 2000’s “Necrophones” LP, the other four were never used anywhere.

Lungfish’s cyclical music and Higgs’ circular chants sound best unhinged but unbroken: There needs to be a dam ready to burst at all times but nary a trickle of water can drip through the barrier. “A.C.R. 1999” keeps the tension throughout and Lungfish’s discographical wall remains unbreached.

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