As much as this is a review for the new Ergs! compilation, Hindsight Is 20/20, My Friend, it is more of a goodbye letter from one of the Ergs!'s biggest fans.
When I heard the news that the Ergs! were breaking up, I was in disbelief. There is no way my favorite band is breaking up-type of thing. I have gotten to know the Ergs! fairly well in the last few years while living in Gainesville and have learned how not only how rad of a band they are, but how rad these dudes are. Unselfish, funny as hell, and well, yes, nerdy. The feeling I had when I found out you were through felt like when my first girlfriend Teresa kicked me in the nuts and broke up with me during recess (true story). Ironically, I was drinking a Nehi grape soda.
The first time I heard the Ergs! was when I was living with Aaron Lay on NW 16th Ave. in 2005. Aaron played me the split 7-inch with the Modern Machines. Their cover of the Beatles' "Not a Second Time" blew the brain out of my head. It's a ballsy move for a young pop-punk band from Jersey to cover the Beatles, but their version is flawless.
After instantly going and getting Dorkrockcorkrod, I fell in love. This was that band that we all wanted to be in. They were writing the songs about girls that we were too "cool" too write. The Ergs! were instantly my favorite band.
Hindsight Is 20/20, My Friend is a 33-song collection of the Ergs!'s extensive 7-inch and compilation history. This compilation shows how undeniably catchy this band can be playing everything -- pop-punk, hardcore, street punk, alt-country, even dub reggae! Hindsight has quite a few covers, which some will love and some could live without. That is why I liked the Ergs! so much: They did what they wanted to. I mean, a Gin Blossoms cover? In fact, "Hey Jealousy" sounds better than the original, trust me.
Although I think the Ergs! sound way better on vinyl, having all of these songs mastered together makes this compilation even better. All of the songs sound amazing, and exactly how the Ergs! sound. There are no tricks to this band, proven by their live show.
Musically, they are so much better than they will ever know. I have seen them play so many times I can't remember, and every show has blown me away. When the Ergs! play, my feet instantly tap, my beer is raised into the sky, and I am a teenager again. I am that kid watching Digger and Weston play in a basement in 1996. I am smiling so much it's embarrassing; I am singing along to every word, usually arm in arm with good friends.
Favorite Ergs! story: Savage Brewtality was playing with the Ergs! up in Richmond, VA for the Best Friends Day festival a few years back. Every time I saw them I would beg them to play "180 Degree Emotional Ollie," my favorite Ergs! song. Towards the end of the set, they busted into it. I was so into it, I grabbed the microphone and sang the entire song. That's what kind of band they were -- not only did they not care, but the last time they came through Gainesville, they called me on stage to sing the song with them again. You guys rule -- thanks for that.
Please don't break up.