Monday, August 04, 2008

Angst - Cry For Happy

Angst was a band that broke up at the wrong time. First of all, Joe Pope and Jon E. Risk had just hit their stride as songwriters with their last two albums, Mystery Spot (1987) and Cry For Happy (1988). Second, the sound they had stumbled on by this point, a mix country twang and alt-rock jangle informed by their hardcore roots, would become all the rage a couple years later after the release of Uncle Tupelo's No Depression (1990).

Uncle Tupelo often gets credit for being the first "alt-country" act, but bands like Angst and The Long Ryders had concocted a similar fusion during the mid-to-late eighties. So why did Uncle Tupelo kick off a movement while the music of Angst, The Long Ryders and others languished in obscurity? I'm not sure. Of course, in pop music timing is everything. There's also no doubt that good marketing can help, and I don't think Angst ever got any of that.

Whatever the reasons, Angst didn't sell a lot of records at the time, and all their albums are out-of-print today. It's a shame because their records are really quite good, especially the last two. I never saw Angst live, which makes me suspect they didn't tour the East Coast very often, because I was definitely a fan.


Donut Duck (Your Punk Rawk Fonzie) said...

Angst was a totally underrated band. I am just preparing a rare live show for my own blog, Angst live in Hamburg 1988 and this is gonna be a huge set, 26 songs, no less.
I wonder what happened to the band? Do you have any other informations?


Pete Bilderback said...

Let me know when you have that up.

I could not find any information on what any members of the band have been up to since the release of Cry For Happy.

Donut Duck (Your Punk Rawk Fonzie) said...

Will do so. I just need to ID two songs from the set that are unknown to me. But once this is done and the set is up i will notify you, Pete.


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