Ashrae Fax - Never Really Been Into It
The legacy of North Carolina's Ashrae Fax seems destined to be appreciated in retrospect, in no small part given to the tremendous power of the group's 2003 release Static Crash!, reissued twice from its initial CD-R run before appearing on Mexican Summer last year. The Goth / ethereal duo of vocalist Renee Mendoza and producer / guitarist Alex Chesney had built a long, strange and mostly undocumented legacy prior to that release, and 'Never Really Been Into It' extends the tale back even further: ten songs, sketched out in the late '90s, most of which were never completed and remained unheard until now. Rescued from a shoebox of ephemera from the band's earliest days, when Mendoza and guitarist Alex Chesney drifted out of high school and into the uncertainties of early adulthood, these songs were the product of a band whose members had nothing but time and ambition, influence and desire to transcend their humble beginnings. Pieced together and re-recorded in 2013 by Renee in her home studio, from mere stems and forgotten takes preserved on decades-old minidisc recordings, the songs reflect disquiet, uncertainty, absolute beauty, along teenage obsessions with The Cocteau Twins and The Cure, refracted through the lens of latter-day experience - pristine musicianship, gorgeous vocals, cryogenically frozen until now. Had these songs been properly released when initially conceived.