Friday, May 29, 2020

The Fragments - Incomplete Sentences

Being the late '90s/early 2000s punk history geek that I am, I'm delighted to discover much of the music of my (relative) youth popping up on digital platforms. You could call me nostalgic, but I prefer to believe that many of the bands I championed in my salad days have simply held up really well. The eastern Wisconsin punk scene of that era remains largely overlooked and is very much worthy of further review. On that note, a near complete discography of The Fragments has made its way to Bandcamp. The Fragments are probably best known outside of Wisconsin for their split CD with Modern Machines which came out in late 2002. They had a sound that was quintessentially Midwestern: poppy punk with real guts and plenty of rough edges. Eric Apnea and Andy Junk are most often associated with other bands they were in (Teenage Rejects, Catholic Boys, Holy Shit!), but The Fragments were pretty awesome in their own right. Eric, Andy, and Jeff Caissie all contributed songs...and it turns out there were plenty of songs! Incomplete Sentences (best title ever!) compiles songs recorded in various sessions from 2000 through 2003. At 25 tracks, you get the good, the bad, and the ugly of The Fragments. I dig that this was catchy punk that didn't sound like all the other catchy punk you've heard in your life. Listening to these songs today, I can hear bits and pieces of everything from early Lookout! Records to The Replacements & Husker Du to Naked Raygun to The Figgs' punkier-leaning stuff. I won't lie and say that all 25 tracks are essential (or even listenable). But if you're going to document what The Fragments were, this warts and all approach was definitely the way to go. Adding historical importance is the fact that Justin Perkins, who would go on to become one of the most respected studio engineers in the music industry, recorded most of this stuff. If you played six degrees of separation with the members of this band, you could probably link The Fragments to darn near every great punk/garage band to come out of Wisconsin in the 2000s. Incomplete Sentences will be a real treat for all who witnessed The Fragments firsthand - and a totally a fun listen even for those who didn't.  


No comments: