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December [Enhanced]

For Against Audio CD

Price: £14.60 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

1. Sabres
2. Stranded In Greenland
3. Svengali
4. They Said
5. The Effect
6. December
7. The Last Laugh
8. Paperwhites
9. Clandestine High Holy
10. Autocrat (Video)
11. Echelons (Video)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent album from an overlooked group 25 Nov 2005
By somethingexcellent - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
With their second in a series of two releases by the Lincoln, Nebraska band For Against, the Words On Music label takes another notch out of the rare CD ebay market by offering up the groups long out-of-print second album December. Just last year, the label gave their debut Echelons (which was only released on LP originally) a grand welcome back into the world, and December is now being given a similarly fancy treatment.

In addition to being packaged in a nice two-fold digipack, the album has been remastered and even features two little-seen videos from the group. Although Nebraska has now become a musical hotspot because of Saddle Creek Records, one has to admit that the group sounded pretty far ahead of their time considering the original album release date of 1988. Absorbing influences as wide as Factory Records, early REM, and even some touches of the 4AD catalogue, it's as if the trio from the midwest distilled down what they liked about all the cutting edge groups that they listened to at the time and arrived at something that still sounds pretty fresh nearly 20 years later.

The album bursts out of the gate with "Sabres," and Harry Dingman again makes his presence on guitar known right away with soaring melodies that mix nicely with the light delivery of Jeffrey Runnings on vocals (and backed by a solid rhythm section). In fact, one can almost hear a bit of an English lilt on the vocals of Runnings, as if he were looking to separate himself from the heartland even more than the music already does. As if to emphasize things even more, the following track "Stranded In Greenland" contains even more vague vocals that may or may not be a metaphor for the flyover state.

If one were to remove the vocals of Runnings from "The Effect," the ultra-gauzy guitars and an almost electronic-sounding rhythm section running in 6/8 time could easily provide the backdrop to an early Cocteau Twins track while the title track of "December" echoes the dark early period work of The Cure instrumentally. For me, the first two albums from For Against were easily their best. Although they had some excellent songs in their latter period, they sound much more lively and willing to try different things (partially due to the excellent guitar work of Dingman, who later went on to play with The Millions). Considering the group is back together and playing again in their original lineup (albeit with a different drummer), they could very well make a resurgence on the heels of these excavations.

(from almost cool music reviews)
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic 21 Mar 2008
By Travis Emmitt - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This is an awesome album. If you like 80s post-punk/pre-shoegaze (e.g., Chameleons, Sound, Springhouse), you'll definitely like this! It's powerful, pretty, and catchy. I still have "Stranded in Greenland" stuck in my head from the first time I heard it over a decade ago! :)

Very few American bands have enamored me as much as For Against have, and this album is IMO their tightest, a great starting point. It's the one I heard first, and made me immediately buy the rest of their albums. I've been a devoted fan of the band ever since!

p.s. Jack Rabid gave December his #1 pick in The Big Takeover #25!
4.0 out of 5 stars "You gave me a cat that's crazy, you gave me a nervous breakdown...Who has the last laugh?" 10 Dec 2012
By THowerton - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Possessing a strong indie, college radio friendly sensibility For Against showed a great deal of promise and managed to find their small little niche but never their larger audience. They imbue their music on "December" with an edgy tension (not to be confused with intensity) that is apparent right out of the gate with "Sabres". The production allows for a reverberation, down-the-hall effect where the singing, while clear, still sounds like it's coming from a bit of a distance. The guitars, jangly rings that they are, are tuned up (I think...I'm no musician) and with brief distortion delays they are a strong component in creating an eerie, anxious atmosphere. The production gets a lot out of the guitars and voice which really make for For Against's signature sound on this album: think a nervous Ocean Blue with a lively and clear but not overbearing bass.

The title track of the album, "December", is a melancholy piece of twisted atmospheric turmoil that has some nice, haunted, and shifting phrasing over a steady hypnotic pulsing rhythym; great tones on that guitar. Truly a great title track and my personal favorite of the album. "Now I see it's all just a game/ One I never wanted to play/ You played with my head every day/ Now we only hope you obey/ In December".

I don't remember how I stumbled onto this album (first bought as a cassette! remember those?) but I'm pretty sure the name of the band intrigued me at the time. The CD I now own has bonus CD-ROM content: two videos, "Echelon" and "Autocrat". I can't comment on those as I have not managed to access them yet but I did buy this CD off Amazon and I would think that this bonus has come with all of the CD's pressings as this album had to have been remastered for CD formatting. In conclusion: this is an album I enjoy coming back to again and again, especially after not having heard it for awhile. Shiver on with me...in December.
3.0 out of 5 stars For Against - December 14 Nov 2012
By R. Kesler - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Right from the get-go it's easy to hear that the production of December is far above that of Echelon, where the band seems to step out of the shadows and right up to the mic. Though on consideration, one could easily suggest that the production here changes the course of the nature for the music, allowing it to feel like two things are going on at the same time. December still follows the college radio formate that gave the band their original success, but hits with a bit harder edge, and more intense sound, with the guitars feeling like they're cutting the air, rather than being mixed in and washed over by everything else ... with their sound rivaling anything R.E.M. or The Chameleons UK managed to do. Yet even with all this, For Against can't seem to get a well deserved foothold to jettison them up the ladder to a wider audience. And look, let me lay my cards on the table, I'm more than sure that the contradictory play on words name has more than a bit to do with it, and that's a serious shame, because For Against [which is actually composed of three members], have a razor shape sound that's remained fresh and clean over the years, where their notes are punctuated by the lyrics, the lyrics by chords, and the whole thing folds back onto itself creating a dynamic atmosphere that will have people scratching their heads, wondering how they missed this band in the first place.

Review by Jenell Kesler
5.0 out of 5 stars Another forgotten band? 21 Jan 2012
By Hamster Army - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
What the...? Another forgotten late 80's/early 90's band that got swept under the rug, as I get older, I find more and more psych/shoegaze genre bands that simply never got the attention or respect they deserved, bless them all.

For Against is absolute one of those bands, who possibly deserved more recognition than others, especially in the states, but for whatever reason, never received it.

For all of the pitfalls of the digital music era, this band is a perfect example of what the internet can do for artists, giving them a real permanent legacy, and the attention and prominent recognition such artists really deserved.

December in particular is an album that has become a permanent part of my regular music rotation and influence, the guitar work is absolutely stellar, classic "new wave" 80's post-punk, edgy, melodic and appealing.

If you're a fan of classic Echo & The Bunnymen, Ride, Wall Of Voodoo, Joy Division, The Ocean Blue, The Pixies, et al..., you may really, really like this band.

I'm not sure what else to say, just listen to the previews here and you'll become hooked immediately, or not. It's that appealing.
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