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At the Spine (band) [edit] [flag] Last Updated: 2008-11-30

CD REVIEW: "This is honestly one of the best records, front to back that I've heard all year." (Ari Joffe, Punk Planet Magazine, Chicago, IL Issue 59, Jan/Feb 2004). SHOW PREVIEW: "Political music is tricky, and miraculous when a band consistently makes it beautiful. At the Spine reminds the listener of the Minutemen: This trio comes on personal even as they try to light a candle against this new dark era. While D. Boon and co. sprang from jazz, At the Spine's subtle, classic protest songs spill from an adolescence steeped in '80s metal--which means this music is quite unlike anything you've ever heard. Imagine Pete Seeger fronting Iron Maiden with a young Mike Watt, and you get the idea. At the Spine's great, homemade debut, The Curriculum Is Never Neutral, barely hints at their live power: The band exults madly all over the room with a performance to banish all jadedness. This band is so strong and fresh that watching them, I can't help but imagine..." (The Stranger, UP & COMING, Seattle, WA. July 31-Aug 6th, 2003) “At the Spine basically is multi-instrumentalist Mike Toschi, who sounds blissfully impervious to whatever fad his indie-rock peers are currently into. Even after a few listens, The Curriculum is Never Neutral (Global Seepej) keeps on revealing quirky new hooks, new layers.? (Time Out NY, Issue No. 405 July 3–10, 2003). Standing Up Straight -- They've been called it all: the next Pixies, just like early Fugazi, early Guided by Voices, early Neil Young. The comparisons are plentiful — and all overboard, if you ask me. Because after checking out their sophomore album, First Day of Spring, I can say that these guys stand on their own feet. Comparisons aren't really necessary. No matter how they sound, the members of At the Spine approach their entire career as a band differently than anyone else. First Day of Spring is a worldly album that touches on more than just rock 'n' roll — songs explore the damage of the war in Iraq, anti-Bush sentiments and life in a Mexican jail. Songs become stories, not just obtuse, self-reflective ballads. At the Spine gives you a glimpse of real life, not just rock 'n' roll life. They speak from the cardboard hut of a homeless man, from the desk of an inner-city teacher and from the perspective of a broken-hearted, love-deprived rocker… Music is a revolution for At the Spine, an upheaval against all the power and energy that goes into sadness, war, strife and struggle. Their latest album is "about resisting the senselessness of the military-industrial complex ... [without letting] them take away our laughter, dance, music and right to revolt." For At the Spine, rock is hardly skin-deep. (Leah Sottile, PNW Inlander Weekly, Spokane, WA. March 10, 2005). At the Spine packs politics into The B-Side-- The music's as much about rocking as anything, and the group's Built to Spill and Fugazi-esque guitar-driven sound proves it. And concertgoers are bound to verify that At the Spine likes to cut loose and rock the house. "Things are messed up and we have to think about them and try and correct them, but we can't let that destroy our ability to have fun," he said. "We have to try to do both. That's what I'm trying to do with the album. It's kind of a sonic celebration of resistance." (Tom Bowers, The Spokesman-Review, Spokane, WA. March 11, 2005).

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