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Rites of Spring


Rites of Spring (1984-1986): a Punk band from Washington, District of Columbia, USA.


hort lived American post-hardcore punk act Rites of Spring's style boasted an energetic live performance and two recordings of frenetic violence and visceral passion that experimented with the genre's style rules. Along with Embrace and Beefeater, they were one of the key acts behind the 1985 Revolution Summer movement that took place within the Washington, D.C. hardcore punk rock scene. Lyrically, they shifted hardcore punk into intensely personal realms and, in doing so, are often considered the first 'Emo' band; although considered Emo, Rites of Spring rejected any association between themselves and Emo, however.

The band only performed around 15 shows in the DC area and completed a one-off album and an EP. Guy Picciotto (vocals/guitars) and Brendan Canty (drums) went on to play in Fugazi with producer and ex-Minor Threat vocalist Ian MacKaye in the late 1980s. Bassist Mike Fellows formed Mighty Flashlight and then a solo career. Edward Janney (guitar) and Mike Fellows (bass) would round out the only membership.

Their self-titled debut, released in 1985, featured twelve songs of screaming, emotional hardcore punk, produced by Ian MacKaye of Fugazi and Minor Threat. Released on vinyl in June of 1985 by 'Dischord Records' (catalog number 16), it would be re-released on CD and cassette in 1987 with an additional track from the same session titled Other Way Around, as well as the four songs from their follow-up EP, All Through a Life (1987; 'Dischord' catalog number 22). The CD and cassette originally retained the number "16" while the 1991 compilation and the the 2001 remaster of the compilation, were numbered "16CD" and given the title End on End.

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The band split up in January 1986. 'Dischord' released the band's only demo, Six Song Demo, in October 2012; all tracks previously recorded versions of songs appearing on the debut album.

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