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Rye Coalition's Hard Luck Story Comes To DVD

Rye on The Rocks

Rye on The Rocks

Maybe ten years ago, I had a good friend (can’t remember her name) who was dating one of the members of Rye Coalition and invited me to have lunch with him  and we sat around for a coupla hours where he old me he story of this quasi Led Zep metal punk bands rise and fall. It starts off typical enough, they tour, they get a fan base, they sign to a major label. Then the story went pear shaped: The band recorded an album produced by Dave Grohl and awaited its release, the label,Dreamworks, was sold to Universal and Universal wouldn’t release it because (I assume)

1. If it flops it is Universal’s fault.

2. If it hits its Dreamworks hits.

So Rye Coalition tried to buy back the masters but Universal wouldn’t sell em because then if it was a hit for somebody else then Universal looks bad for not releasing it.

That’s where I left the story but apparently they did manage to get the album out and made a DVD about their long strange trip. This is the PR release:

An intimate and fiery documentary tracing the 20-year rise and fall of NJ Rock Band Rye CoalitionDocumentary DVD Release Party + Live Performance at WFMU’s Monty Hall on December 13th

When they signed with one of the world’s biggest record labels, Rye Coalition was primed to finally get their glory, or so it seemed. Like countless rockers before them, childhood best friends started a band in a basement with a couple simple goals in mind: have fun and play good music.  As one of the first bands to develop the new “emo” sound in the early 90s, they were at the forefront of a movement that included Shellac, Jawbreaker, and Karp (with whom they later recorded a legendary 12″ split). Rye Coalition’s first recording was a demo cassette tape backed by a tour in a beat up schoolbus long before most of them had their driver’s license.  As their talent and fan base grew, they released albums on indie labels and toured the country for over ten years on bigger and bigger bills: (At The Drive-In, Mars Volta, Queens of the Stone Age). After gaining momentum from 2002′s “On Top” LP, engineered by Steve Albini, they were signed to Dreamworks and none other than Dave Grohl (Nirvana) came on as their producer.  Then, it all imploded.

Supplemented by the band’s home movies, the filmmaker has continuously documented these singular rockers for over a decade, chronicling choice moments with Rye Coalition (and those who know them well) on tour, at home and in the studio. Although the band was praised by critics and supported by an absurdly dedicated grassroots fan base, somehow these Jersey rockers never got their due. Until now.  Dir: Jenni Matz, 2014; 77

Featuring: Steve Albini (Shellac), Tim Green (Nation of Ulysses), Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters), Jon Theodore (Queens of the Stone Age), Jared Warren (Melvins) Allison Wolfe (Bratmobile) & more.

That Albini sure gets around. I was listening to Curses and it’s pretty hot stuff, so hopefully this can turn it round once and for all for the band.

Rye Coalition: The Story of the Hard Luck 5 (doc trailer) from Rye Coalition on Vimeo.

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