Monday, November 15, 2004


After all these years I'm still not sure if it is "Soul Side" or "Soulside". Even the Dischord site has it spelled both ways. Ah to hell with it. Soulside were responsible for churning out some dark, moody "emo" core ( for lack of a better term ) in DC in the late 80's. They were quite prolific in their short lifespan - 3 full lengths and 7" in less than 3 years. Progessing from a straight up "posi" melodic HC sound on Less Deep Inside Keeps to a dark, noisy realm on Hot Bodi-Gram, Soulside's albums all sound a bit different and unique. 3/4 of the band ( sans singer Bobby Sullivan ) went on to form 90's indie band Girls Against Boys ( and eventually 2 of those went on to New Wet Kojak )

Soulside - Walking.mp3
from their 1987 album Less Deep Inside Keeps. 11 songs of typical "emo" hardcore - soaring guitars, melodic choruses, plaintive, positive vocals. Slow start that builds to a speedy conclusion. Sounds like a mix of GI, Gray Matter, and Verbal Assault. Well, maybe not. This was released on the long lost Sammich label, which chronicled some of the lower profile DC bands ( Shudder To Think, Swiz ). Sounds positively sunny in comparision to their later releases. Still holds up pretty good.

Soulside - Name in Mind.mp3
From 1988's Trigger LP on Dischord. This album is slower, darker, less immediate than Less Deep... But it's many ways more powerful due to it slow burn nature. More accomplished musically with longer and more complex song structures ( for the genre ). The lyrics are less by the numbers. A great mood album. This track was also on the DC comp State of The Union

Soulside - Pembroke.mp3
From their final LP, 1989's Hot Bodi Gram. Career climax, or the post Trigger backslide? I still can't decide and I've had this thing for 15 years. Definitely noiser and more chaotic than their previous work, oft times dark and depressing. Stylistically you can see the future GVSB direction on this one. Still enjoyable if you can get past the cryptic lyrics and monotone vocals. All in all, this pairs up nicely with Trigger on the CD Reissue Soon Come Happy