The Distance - If You Lived Here You'd Be Home Already (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Distance

If You Lived Here You'd Be Home Already (2005)

Think Fast!

I, as well as others I'm sure, are bound to question the release of an "odds and sods" collection of a band whose first full-length hasn't even seen the light of day. Sure, it was common for bands of their style in the early 80's, but that time it was also a feat to manage a full-length recording on such a low budget. These days, not so much. In another words, it's a practice usually reserved for multiple punk/hardcore bands like so who've made their name legendary despite a handful of vinyl releases all missing the 12" mark, but, like its most recent companion in Sick Of It All's B-sides/rarities retrospective Outtakes For The Outcast, the Distance's If You Lived Here You'd Be Home Already is tightly uniform in its set of straightforward hardcore tracks (most plucked from a short wealth of splits and 7 inches alike with two new songs and a few live numbers to boot), and pretty enjoyable despite such a short garden of material to pluck from.

Complimentary claims the Distance have picked up where straight-edge torchbearers Carry On left off have run rampant throughout the band's early work, and as this is a showcasing of such, it's certainly warranted here. However, the Distance give themselves...erm, serving up one more usual tempo change than their comparative brothers in question, and generally falling more into emotional youth crew territory than unrelenting straightforward intensity, but with nary a gang chant employed on the newer material.

"Drowning In Details" is one of the compilation's two newly recorded offerings, and showcases a rare backup vocal appearance that gives the record a strong start. The band's cover of Dramarama's "Anything, Anything" is a definite standout. Taken from a limited 7" bearing the same name and released last Summer, vocalist Jay Reason sounds truly desperate to keep the relationship together screaming "marry me marry me marry me!" Most other genres this would be a complete whinefest, but instability and emotion seem to sincerely resonate on this particular track rather well. The sound quality alters drastically immediately following the track, with 'raw' being the general vibe of the rest of the record despite a halfway-accomplished remastering attempt to balance it; however, it comes at a pretty appropriate time with their cover of Minor Threat's "Filler" another sure highlight. It's actually pretty upbeat compared against the rest of the album, and Reason begging "it's in your head! It's in your head!" does undoubted justice to the original. The remaining studio offerings take another step down on the sound quality ladder, and are all taken from the band's 2003 vinyl release (originally a 2002 demo). Here's the band in their earliest form, and mosh parts are incorporated quite more often. Following this are a few live tracks recorded at New York's CBGBs. Despite Reason's repetitive, clichéd commands of "Yo CBs, let's do this! / Move up! / Destroy this place! / Use your outdoor voices indoors!" getting a bit stringy by the third song, you really can feel the aggression in the room, and at least they aren't just live versions of songs already previously heard on the record (rather, the studio versions can be found on the band's 2004's Your Closest Enemies EP).

So while I'd still really like to hear a proper LP from Connecticut's the Distance that would likely be packed to the brim with a sure 25 minutes of stripped down, barefaced hardcore manifestos, I won't mind taking in a pretty solid, 23-minute retrospective of what's leading up to it to hold me over in the meantime.

Drowning In Details
Phase Two Is About To Be Implemented
Anything, Anything