The Reply: The Complete Collection
A 2xLP collection compiling the complete works of Washington, D.C.-based mod outfit, The Reply, who existed from 1983-1989. The record includes the band's demos, four-song EP, and a number of unreleased studio recordings.
from Glide Magazine:
Washington D.C. in the 80’s was fertile ground for a slew of innovative punk bands that would go on to inspire hundreds more. Bad Brains, Minor Threat, even Haagen-Dazs’ most successful employee, Henry Rollins, all got started in the nation’s capital. Then came emo; and not the weepy early aughts junior high poetry journal hijacked emo music, but the original punk rock adjacent first wave emo from bands like Rites of Spring and Embrace – groups that wrote brutally honest EMOtional songs backed by distorted guitars and machine gun drums. All came out of that same D.C. sect.
And in that scene, The Reply managed to come together and cobble together a wildly infectious sound that drew from a range of influences: punk, soul, pop, garage, likely a few nods to the homegrown Go-go genre, and plenty of ska. The result has earned them the rep as one of the most underrated D.C. bands to come out of Washington D.C.
Three decades after the band called it a day, recording the last of their songs in 1989 (eight unreleased tracks), The Reply has reissued its entire catalogue on a 17-track collection, aptly titled The Complete Collection. The set is a perfect time capsule of a band unencumbered by classification or genre allegiance. You can easily picture their record collection including titles by The Jam, Stiff Little Fingers, The Specials and Minor Threat. Songs like “Nothing More,” “Dead To Rights” and “Don’t Stand Me Down” could appeal to everyone for the mods to the punks to the Two-Tone fans.
Lyrically, the songs are occasionally a little earnest, but in fairness solidly reflecting the time. The music here was recorded in a brief three year period – from 1986-to-1989, the songs culled from their two proper EPs (The Reply and All Good Things) as well as those eight songs recorded toward the end of the band’s lifespan that never saw a proper release. The band may be long gone, and may have never built a global following, but The Complete Collection goes to show they probably could have under different circumstances. It’s also a great way for a whole new generation to discover one of D.C.’s most underrated musical outputs of the ‘80s.