Lincoln, Nebraska’s For Against have been nothing short of great since their formation in 1985 and Shade Side Sunny Side, the group’s first release since 2002’s Coalesced, is the band’s best effort yet. With the return of original guitarist Harry Dingman III, who left the group after 1988’s incredible December, For Against have gone back to a darker, edgier sound that recalls the best of early Factory Records, namely Joy Division and Section 25 (an amazing cover of the latter’s “Friendly Fires” is included here), as well as the spooky atmospherics of Wire circa 154, The Chameleons, and The Comsat Angels. The interplay between Dingman’s guitar pyrotechnics and frontman Jeffrey Runnings’ low rumbling bass on tracks like the slow burning opener “Glamour,” and especially, the smoking hot “Aftertaste,” which strikes with a similar potency to Joy Division’s “Shadowplay,” put the likes of Interpol and The Killers to shame. This is what post punk is supposed to sound like! Lyrically, Runnings is totally on top of his game here with some of his most personal and heartbreaking compositions ever. Songs like “Spirit Lake,” the stark piano ballad “Game Over,” and “Why Are You Angry?” will cause even the toughest soul to tear up.
For Against – Shade Side Sunny Side