Sound — 9
Rites of Spring are considered the first emo band, but they should not be confused with emo of the past 20 years. RoS came out of the DC hardcore scene in the mid 80's, which is evident due to the raw intensity clearly evident on every song, but with a stronger focus on melody, and trading in speed for a slightly more technical approach. "End on End" is a compliation of their first self-titled LP and only EP, "All Through A Life". The recording quality of the s/t isn't great, but captures the band's raw attack in a distinct way. All Through A Life has slightly better quality. Ros often incorporated melodic bass lines and guitar riffs that scream chaos and desperation, in a good way. Many of the songs take on the form of emotional release constantly pouring out, thus why they were stick with the term "emocore". The "All Through A Life" part is slightly more relaxed and abit less frantic, and a strong indication of where the band's sound was headed with the next RoS incarnation, "One Last Wish". Very melodic. The band has a very unique sound, even in comparison to their contemporaries (Embrace, Gray Matter, Beefeater, etc.) I may be slightly biased due to RoS being my third favourite band ever, so I would give it a ten, but maybe an 8 or 9 might be more suitable.
Lyrics — 10
Guy Picciotto is... amazing, to say the least. By far my favourite singer and lyricist ever. Every word is amazing, and heartfelt. Pretty much every song on this album is about love, whether it be wanting love (Patience, Nudes), or losing love (For Want Of, Persistent Vision). Though introspection is also touched upon (Remainder, Hidden Wheel). Pretty much all about emotions. Every line is crafted beautifully, and with meaning. Guy's voice gets every word across in a way that's almost scary, like a caged animal finally being released. He seems to truly mean everything he sings. Though he doesn't have an amazing range, he has a naturally amazing voice. His screams are like nothing I've ever heard, and his singing gives me chills. The lyrics and the voice totally fit the music, making it a beautiful marriage (despite almost every song being about love falling apart), that only occurs every once in a while. No doubt this deserves a 10 and over.
Overall Impression — 10
In comparison to the other early "emocore" bands (bands that got stuck with that label, at least), RoS is my favourite. That really says a lot because some amazing bands came out of that time frame. It's incredibly hard to pick a certain amount of standout tracks, because I truly do love each and every one of these 17 songs, but for someone just getting into RoS, I'd suggest "For Want Of", "Spring", "Deeper Than Inside", "Drink Deep", "Persistent Vision", "End on End", and "In Silence/Words Away". Some personal favourites of mine are "Theme (If I Started Crying)", "Nudes", and "Patience". But I really do hold every song on this album in very high regard. I love everything about this album; the energy, the music, the band, the vocals, the lyrics, everything. I really can't think of anything I hate about this album, but like I said, I'm biased because of my relentless love for them. If it were stolen, well, at least they've got good taste. I would without a doubt buy another copy though.