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MP3 The Dispossessed - The Other Sister Mary

A representative selection of Hartford, Connecticut'' s mid-80''s proto-goth, garage band The Dispossessed.
Despite it''s short life, the band garnered critical acclaim from Album Network, CMJ and The BOB. Here''s why.

10 MP3 Songs in this album (41:21) !
Related styles: Rock: 80''s Rock, Rock: Garage Rock, Featuring Guitar

People who are interested in Bauhaus Joy Division The Chameleons should consider this download.

In 1986, Hartford CT wasn’t exactly the breeding ground for new music.
Local clubs began to cater to DJs rather than live bands, the indie
scene was more successful in cities like New Haven and Bridgeport
to the south, and the proverbial “midpoint” between New York City and Boston
wasn’t attracting much energy from either of those places. However, it was there that at
least once a week a small group of friends with a strong proclivity
for English rock would get together in a basement and began to piece
together the sadly short-lived project of what was The Dispossessed.
Comprised of an English-lit major, a guitar fanatic, a record store
manager, a software developer & an art school student, we shared a
passion for the then disappearing sound of post- modern rock; groups
like Bauhaus, The Damned, Comsat Angels, Killing Joke, The Rich Kids,
& The Velvet Underground, as well as 60’s garage rock and 70’s glam.
As the 80’s veered towards death metal, we headed in a different direction,
mixing images of poisoned relationships with an angst
carried over from the polemics of punk. There were to be no thirty
second songs, nor three minute drum solos; no stacked Marshalls- no
skull tattoos.

In the unusually hot summer of 1986, The Dispossessed began to play
clubs in Connecticut on a fairly consistent basis. Regulars started to
show up at shows and basement practices. There was promise. The
songwriting team of Leigh Gregory (recently back in the US after
studies in London) and Jeremy Guenter offered lyrics bucking the trend
of chicks-in-cars; instead exploring images of
hollowed hearts and a savage society. Greg Balfanz’s keyboards
provided a synth wash and occasional sparkle to the otherwise sardonic
vision, while bassist Alex DeFelice and myself as drummer (fresh from a
stint with the infamous Jack Tragic and the Unfortunates) punched
out the tight rhythm hammock on which Guenter’s guitar rested.
A year later, The Dispossessed had a single out on Lee Joseph’s
Dionysis label; a cover of the Beatle’s Being For the Benefit of Mr.
Kite- a queer choice for a debut. We soon were recording demos regularly
at Ron Sutfin’s studio in New Haven as well as at the famed Trod Nossel Studios
in Wallingford. With the founding keyboardist and bassist departing,
veteran punk bassist Keith Grave (White Pigs, Free Love Society)
joined to give the band an ever darker edge. The Dispossessed were
deliberate and heavier now. But the band’s live performances
were uneven, and failed to attract the bigger audience.
Tensions began to upset recording sessions and soon
practices became fewer. Even the interest of a major label failed to inject
enough enthusiasm in the distracted lives of the
members. Finally there was a short hiatus that was made permanent by
the untimely passing of guitarist Jeremy Guenter. By the end of the
year, The Dispossessed were no more. The band’s posthumous LP, Sister Mary,
was released in the US and overseas on a European label, and sold
briskly. The critical response was enthusiastic & heartening, but
obviously too late for resuscitation.

Although The Dispossessed were far from being one the area’s more
successful bands, in two short years we accumulated at least two LP’s worth
of material. Unfortunately, there was a disappearance of all of the master
tapes sometime in the late 80’s. Copies, however, remained extant, and these have been
cleaned and treated to produce what you hear in this modest
compilation. So in answer to requests over the years for a re-release of some of the
songs which have been out of print for so long, we present this compilation.
She is The Other Sister Mary. And we hope you enjoy her company.

Charles Dubé February 2011

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