Articles of Faith (band)

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Articles of Faith was a Chicago-based hardcore punk band (1981–1985) notable for songwriting in a class above most of their contemporaries (and successors).[citation needed] The band's later work, the In This Life LP in particular, either founds or foreshadows the emo sound.[citation needed] Originally a Springsteen / Clash cover band called Direct Drive, the group made an about-face and changed both its music and name after frontman Vic Bondi made a pilgrimage to Washington, D.C. in 1981 and underwent a conversion he describes as an “epiphany.” [1] The typical AoF song featured hummable melodies and conspicuous hooks, showing funk, reggae and jazz influences, accompanied by lyrics bemoaning the difficulty of finding freedom and fulfillment in a cookie-cutter mass-consumption driven society typically, but not always, delivered at a searing pace. While the band's influence was blunted by being based in Chicago, it maintained close musical and thematic ties to the Washington DC / Dischord Records scene. Drummer Bill Richman (a.k.a. “Virus X”), a member of the Revolutionary Communist Party [2] briefly left the band in 1984 due to the waning of the band's political emphasis and Richman’s increasingly fervent Stalinism. [3] He returned later to record In This Life. Bondi had already left Chicago by the time AoF disbanded in 1985. In This Life was issued two years later. The original lineup reunited for a European tour in 1991. The final show of this tour was recorded and issued as part of the Your Choice Live series.

Frontman Vic Bondi was originally a protest singer with decidedly leftist views. He went on to form Alloy, and Jones Very after AoF's demise. At the time of AoF's original breakup Bondi was working as a history instructor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Bondi's subsequent day jobs included working on Microsoft's Encarta as managing editor of the Encarta Interactive English Learning edition (Bondi's attempt to fend off accusations of hypocrisy on this ironic career choice can be found here). Bondi resurfaced with another politically charged band, Report Suspicious Activity in 2006, and was featured prominently in the documentaries American Hardcore and You Weren't There.

In 2010, it was announced that Articles of Faith would reunite for an appearance at Riot Fest in Chicago and would be recording a new EP.[4]

Legacy[edit]

Groups who have cited Articles of Faith as a prominent influence include NOFX,[5] Heroin[6] and Disfear.[7]

Vic Bondi (with Articles of Faith, 1992)

Line-up[edit]

  • Dave Shield (bass guitar, vocals)
  • Bill Richman aka Virus X (drums)
  • Dorian Tajbakhsh (guitar)
  • Vic Bondi (vocals, guitar)
  • Joe Scuderi (guitar)
  • Pat Gruber (management)
  • Steve Ross (road)

Discography[edit]

  • What We Want Is Free (EP 1982) - Version Sound, re-released on the band's DIY label, Wasteland Records
  • Wait (EP 1983) - Wasteland (3 song ep)
  • Give Thanks (LP 1984) - Reflex Records, produced by Bob Mould
  • In This Life (LP 1987) - Lone Wolf Records, produced by Bob Mould
  • New Normal Catastrophe (LP 2010) [8]

Anthologies and posthumous collections[edit]

  • Core (CD 1991) - Bitzcore (a collection of EPs, comp appearances, and unreleased tracks recorded from 1981 to 1983)
  • Give Thanks (CD 1992) - Bitzcore
  • Your Choice Live Series 022 (1994) - Tobby Holzinger / Your Choice Records (last night of 1992 European reunion tour)
  • AoF Complete Vol. 1 and AoF Complete Vol. 2 (2002) - Alternative Tentacles, all AoF vinyl recorded 1981 - 1983 and 1983 - 1985 respectively
Virus X (1992)

Compilation contributions[edit]

  • "Buried Alive" and "False Security" on the Master Tape compilation LP (Affirmation Records, 1982)
  • "Five O'Clock" - On The Middle of America compilation LP (H.I.D. Productions, 1984)
  • "Up Against The Wall" on the P.E.A.C.E. compilation LP (R Radical Records, 1985)
  • "Buy this War" and "American Dreams" on the Fortunate Son split EP (2 old AoF songs along with a solo Vic Bondi performing one original and one cover song) (Alternative Tentacles 2003)
  • "Bad Attitude" on the American Hardcore original documentary soundtrack (Rhino Records, 2006)

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.caughtinthecrossfire.com/music/interviews-2/vic-bondi-interview/
  2. ^ http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/articles-of-faith-riot-fest-chicago-hardcore/Content?oid=2525992
  3. ^ http://www.scannerzine.com/vicbondiinterview.htm
  4. ^ "Articles of Faith reunite original lineup for Riot Fest 2010, record new EP". July 1, 2010. Archived from the original on 2011-07-20. 
  5. ^ "NOFX LYRICS - We Got Two Jealous Agains". Plyrics.com. Retrieved 2012-06-23. 
  6. ^ "Blood Runs Deep: 23 Bands Who Shaped the Scene". Alternative Press. 2008-07-07. p. 126. 
  7. ^ Brandon Stosuy, "Show No Mercy", Pitchforkmedia, March 26, 2008. [1] Access date: September 11, 2008.
  8. ^ "Articles Of Faith: New Normal Catastrophe | Midheaven Mailorder". Midheaven.com. Retrieved 2012-06-23. 

External links[edit]