Presents, 20-Years Later

"Nine belt loops down to six brings me fame!"

Today is the day.  Finally.  We get to share with you the twentieth anniversary of Presents.  And, for the first time, on vinyl.  It’s crazy to me to think that this weird, angular, twenty year-old record holds enough weight with enough people to bring it back to life.  But here it is.  The last few months of planning have felt like opening a time capsule.  From writing the record in Erik’s bedroom at the Rock House in Amherst, Massachusetts in early 2001, to recording with Kurt Ballou at God City, to laying out the artwork with Hrishikesh Hirway from The One AM Radio in New Haven, Connecticut, to finally sharing the songs with people live for the brief time we had left as a band in that first iteration, I can remember what it was like to be a kid trying to find a foothold in a world that was so soul-crushingly hostile that Erik, Nick, and I had no choice but to turn inward and create what we did the way we did.  Presents captures the darkness we, as a band, collectively felt at the time it was released.  And, without going deeply into it, it’s crazy to me that a lot of what we were feeling at the time has continued to be relevant to me.

Listening back to the record this morning, prior to writing this, I felt the fury, disillusionment, and situational hopelessness we three discussed regularly as clearly as I did back in 2001. But I also felt the focus and clarity that we finally learned to channel when we played together toward the end of our first run as a band.  While the music on the record is brimming with cynicism and angst, there is also a vulnerability that was always present in our music.  Nowhere better does this vulnerability come through for me than 35.  Hopefully you can find your own connection with the record and its songs the way I do.

I’m really glad that we are partnering with Casey at Iodine to bring this record back to life and give it new meaning.  Whether you were there back then, you discovered it in the years after we took a break, or this is your first listen, this newly re-mastered version with re-imagined artwork really makes it feel like a new record to us.  And while it isn’t without its flaws, the record, again, is, to me, a perfect snapshot from a time that was ushering in a new kind of global darkness while we did our best to navigate the difficulty of our very early twenties.  Speaking for Erik and Nick, we hope that you enjoy Presents in its new form.  Take care, be kind, and stay safe.

~Jeff, July 29, 2021

Photo by: Adam Gerhold