Friday, August 13, 2021

The Halo Benders - The Rebels Not In LP

The Halo Benders - The Rebels Not In LP

K (2021, Reissue)

The Halo Benders are dually fronted by Calvin Johnson of Beat Happening and Doug Martsch of Built To Spill.  They put out three records in the late 90s with The Rebels Not In being the final one released in 1998.  I've had the first two on vinyl for a while, but only had the CD of their third album.  For a while now it's been a pretty expensive pick up on the second hand market, so I was pleased to see it available again on the K website.  Word has it that reissues of the first two are on their way as well.

While my favorite Halo Benders album will probably always be their debut, The Rebels Not In certainly has its share of greatness.  I often contend that The Halo Benders are the best vehicle for Calvin Johnson.  I've always been a fan of his vocals, starting with his guest appearances on Beck's One Foot In The Grave album.  I was never able to really get into Beat Happening, I think everything was just a little too jangly and cutesy for my personal taste.

Pairing Calvin with Doug's guitar work and vocals is the sweet spot for me.  Doug keeps everything messy and just loud enough to keep things moving along.  His vocals are such an amazing compliment to Calvin's, especially considering how fundamentally different they are.  But they work together seamlessly in song after song.  If you're going to buy one Halo Benders album to give them a chance, buy God Don't Make No Junk.  But if you dig that one, The Rebels Not In is right up there in terms of song quality.

The Halo Benders - The Rebels Not In

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