Monday, June 11, 2012


Maybe I'm wrong about this, but I feel like everyone wants to belong to a club that they're just barely cool enough to get into.  We want to be loved and accepted, but we also want to stand out and be unique. 
Is part of the appeal to Rebar the fact that nobody likes them?  This video kind of says it all.  To know about Rebar in the mid 90's was to belong to a small and exclusive club.  My friend Eve dubbed me their demo on a normal-bias Maxell 90 minute cassette tape.  He'd gotten it from his bassist Pete, who got it from someone else.  The poor audio quality did nothing to detract from the tunes. 
I don't know very much about the band.  I think they were from Greensboro.  Their bassist was named Brent, though rumor has it this guy named Tommy was in the band before him.  Jae was the drummer.  Masa played one of the guitars - though he replaced someone that I don't know (maybe Greg Sigmon?).  The guitarist and singer was named Sanders Trippe. 
Have you ever heard of the band Pentagram?  They were a proto-doom metal band from Northern Virginia that started in the late 70's.  Traditional success eluded them because their singer/guitarist was (is?  I haven't seen the movie) a drug addict and a not-so-great decision maker.  That seems sadly typical for proto-doom metal.  This is not their story.  Rebar was kind of like the indie rock* version of Pentagram.  Instead of being torn apart by drugs, they were torn apart by... apathy?  I don't know.
When Napster became a thing, my first search (after the Alf theme, of course) was for the long-lost Rebar album.  To my amazement, I found someone that had a few Rebar tracks, so I greedily double-clicked.  An hour or so later, the uploader (?) instant-messaged me, thanking me for liking "his" band.  Right.  I'm actually having a conversation with a guy IN Rebar?  Turns out, it was the drummer.  He turned out to be a really nice guy, and ended up sending me a burn of their album, and two of their 7" records.  A few years later, when the CD became hopelessly scratched, he even sent me a replacement.

The Rebar Album Youtube Playlist

So, where are they now?  Sanders went on to be in a band called All Night.  They were a great rock and roll band, but they didn't hit home for me like Rebar did.  I almost saw them once, but that story is for another time.  Then rumor has it he collaborated with Devendra Bernhardt (spelled wrong, don't care).  Now (?) he is in the band Vetiver, and they are (were?) fairly popular.  I think that Jae, the drummer, was in the band the Alternative Champs.

* I am loath to use the term "indie rock" to describe Rebar, due to the fact that in the mid 1990's, the parasite that was emo engulfed the term indie rock.  Instead of emo bands and their fans calling themselves what they were, they stole the tag "indie rock" from actual indie rock bands.  For whatever reason, actual indie rock died a horrible death, never to return.  Nowadays there's some kids from Australia or something called Yuck are trying to revitalize the style in a weird retro fashion, which I'm sure caused everyone over 35 to count gray hairs in the mirror.

No comments:

Post a Comment