Humble Beginnings - Overanalyzing the Manifestations of the Unconscious (2018 Reissue) (Cover Artwork)

Humble Beginnings

Overanalyzing the Manifestations of the Unconscious (2018 Reissue) (2018)

I Surrender records

Leading up to a 2018 reunion, I Surrender Records remastered and rereleased Humble Beginning’s 6-song Overanalyzing the Manifestations of the Unconscious EP, managing to unearth a slew of buried memories for 90’s kids who grew up along I-80 from Bergen County, NJ to central PA. Twenty plus years since the original release on Eyeball Records, it’s continues to stimulate the resurfacing of nostalgia, eventually leading to a run of additional shows just this past summer.

In this particular area of the country during that time you had your God, and then you had your gods – Bigwig and Weston. Right there as sort of a disciple of the two was Humble, (as they were more commonly known,) who took the core of what melodic skate-punk was, and layered over some snot and bubblegum pop over the top.

Overanalyzing the Manifestations of the Unconscious delivers the fan favorites from a slim catalog of demo tapes, EP’s and splits, opening with “Three Thirty Four,” the prime example of the Northeast pop-punk sound of the time. Fast and full of slurry, down-the-neck slides, it serves up a “Linoleum” inspired intro supporting the juvenile edge of “Just give me something to believe” snarled throughout. It’s a launch pad for a narrow spectrum of mid-tempo, scratchy head-boppers (“Laughing with Your Friends” and “Activate,”) to pit igniting heaters.

“Afterall” was likely the cause of some scuffed up and damaged legion hall floors, and to me, is one of the quintessential songs of the era. From the slow-to-fast transitions, to the stop-and-go’s, to the simple, “shoutable” lyrics, it has all of the ingredients of what NJ/PA punk was. When I think of Humble, a chunk of this song comes to mind, and truly defines their style in: If I go again the next day will I come back? / That’s ok it makes me say / And it comes right back / And it comes back! (Note, I can’t confirm if those are the exact lyrics.)

“Faith ‘98” closes the EP out full of pace changes and an ending that will even get the old, curmudgeon-y folks tip-toeing and swaying.

It was a blast revisiting these songs and experiencing the slight sparks of dopamine that came with it. At the time these were anthems, but listening today, the sentiments were strong, yet short-lived. Will I continue to go back and listen? Probably not so much, but a track or two may find its way onto a commuting playlist every so often.

Credit to me going 400 words through a Humble Beginnings review without even mentioning Gabe Saporta.