Vanity Fair Kneels Before Richmond Bands

Just in case today passes without Richmond making another top 10 list written by someone who’s never visited the city, here’s some kudos to stroke our egos — in Vanity Fair of all places — for legendary Richmond bands Honor Role and Breadwinner.

The piece, titled “10 Bands You Weren’t Cool Enough to Like in the ’80s and ’90s” was written by musician and author Jon Fine, whose recent memoir, “Your Band Sucks: What I Saw at The Indie Revolution but Can No Longer Hear,” has been receiving critical acclaim.

About the bands, he writes:

These bands are from Richmond, Virginia. Not D.C., not Philly, not Chapel Hill, not N.Y.C. or Boston. Richmond, Virginia. Both featured the majestic guitar of Pen Rollings. In Honor Role, Rollings served that band’s very thinky take — if I understand the lyrics correctly, “Listening to Sally” could be written from the point of view of a guy in an office who’s been hired to serve as psychologist for a lonely co-worker — on aggressive indie rock of the moment. In Breadwinner, he drove an absolutely crushing example of what could be done once a band decides all that matters is riffs and the rhythm section, and by the way, how bad can we mess up the audience by constantly changing time signatures? I can’t write about Breadwinner without getting all beatnik-rock critic-y on you. “Brutal ever-shifting extrapolation of theorems underpinning that which makes a godhead rhythm section.” “Tooth-grinding metallic minimalism as they dig their very specific ditch.” Etc. and etc. I’m having a hard time finishing this because I’m headbanging, but I’m bald and so it looks like I’m having a seizure and my wife is giving me funny looks.

Props also go to my old friend Trish, whose Chico, California, band, Vomit Launch, came in at No. 5. It contributed to a sampler by the Virginia label Teen Beat back in the day.

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