Christie Front Drive - Christie Front Drive
Release Date: September 29, 1997
Record Label: Caulfield
Denver, Colorado-based emo band Christie Front Drive was one of the most important bands in the 90s emo scene. Unfortunately, I find them to be far less appreciated than they deserve. That's why, fifteen years after its release, I'm writing this.
CFD formed in 1993 by vocalist/ guitarist Eric Richter, guitarist Jason Begin, bassist Kerry McDonald, and drummer Ron Marschall. They released a few 7"s and splits, then compiled them into an anthology- aptly named Anthology. They played a brand of post-rock influenced emo somewhat like a less technical American Football, rather than the louder, more dynamic Mineralish approach.
Their only real full length release was self-titled, and it is amazing. It is- no hyperbole- one of the best albums I've heard in my fourteen years of life. The album consists of six songs and four instrumental interludes. The first song is "Saturday," the longest song on the album. It begins with a pretty minute-and-a-half-long piano intro before the full band kicks in. After that, it's another two minutes until Eric Richter's vocals come in, but they are worth the wait. (He only begins singing halfway through the track.) His vocals are soothing and melodic, smooth and relaxed. Yet the passion he puts into each lyric is unmatched by all except Mineral's Chris Simpson. Sadly, his gorgeous voice often gets drowned out by the rest of the band.
The album's second song is "Radio," which is half the length of the opener but just as good. Following this is the first interlude, and after that is my personal favorite song- "November." The instrumentation on this song is just moving. It is another showcase of Richter's beautiful voice; it sounds pained as he sing, "Still the same/ it won't be when I'm gone/ remember remember/ remember when I'm gone." Something you notice about this album is the peculiarity of the lyrics. Richter almost never uses full thoughts, and often repeats lines a few times. Some might find it annoying, but I enjoy the simple nature of his lyrics, they never sound contrived or forced, and remain open to interpretation to be fit in with the listener's own life.
Following "November" is arguably the band's most well-known song, "Fin." It is another great track. The end of this song is probably the best part of of the entire record, as it finds Richter (and inevitably the listener) yelling out, "Green eyes on a melting sky!" "About Two Days" includes some of the most impressive musicianship in its beginning.
Closer "Seven Day Candle" is the only track I'd consider slightly less perfect, being the quietest and one of the slowest, but even so it is a great song. Its beginning is simple, yet pleasant. Just like the rest of the album. It's fairly simple, but it works perfectly and sounds beautiful.