Friday, September 2, 2011

Navio Forge - As We Quietly Burn A Hole Into...

I figured I'd end the week off with the most polarizing emo record out there. Those who love it regard it as the high water mark for the genre, the emo-est of the emo. Those who hate it basically believe it killed the whole thing for just going too far.

Navio Forge - As We Quietly Burn A Hole Into...

Navio Forge were a very short lived emo band out the Berkeley/bay area scene in California. They played a total of two shows, both at Gilman St., and released this album in 1993 after they had already broken up.
Really, the band was just a blip on the radar at the time. However their reputation has grown because of this record, and really just one song in particular.

Musically, the band were pretty straight forward all things considered. Very few jangly guitar parts or whispered vocals. The guitarist Mike Kirsch (who was also in just about every Ebullition band including Fuel, Torches To Rome and Bread and Circuits to name a few) had a very straight forward driving sound, almost heavy. Vocally, well that's another story.

It all comes down to the last song on the record, "Haloed Eyes". In a nutshell - the singer cries. At the end of the song, he's wailing away, moved to tears from singing about not making eye contact - or something.

Some called it brilliant, the final natural step for emotional music. Others checked out. Late teen, early 20's suburban hardcore kids had a tougher time hanging with it. One thing is for sure, it left an impression!

As far as the vinyl goes, the record was self released on Shadow Catcher Records. All on black vinyl. No idea how many pressed but the internet consensus is well under 1000.
It can't be many, as very few show up on ebay and those that do end up going for some pretty serious bucks. The last one sold this year went for over $70.
There was also a "limited cover" version that took other hardcore record jackets, turned them inside out and screened them. Sounds like they ran out of covers. Those go for $100 - $150. I couldn't be bothered.

It would be interesting to know what others thought of this record. I know my friends had definite opinions on both sides of the fence!


  1. I love this record! Sure the crying thing makes me cringe a bit these days, but back then, I didn't give it a second thought.


  2. Bro, i harsly know anyone doin blog that got intoball these stuff, either mostly into hc sxe and youth crew stuff. This is refreshing. I love old emo. Check my blog, ill post more

  3. Never heard this before, but was intrigued after reading this so checked it out via the wondrous technology of the internet. The crying bit was a let down. I thought I was going to hear some dude wailing, but it wasn't that obvious. If I hadn't read this & heard the song I don't think I would have even realised dude was crying to be honest. Not quite as "ground breaking" as I was expecting.

  4. I really love this record and I'm not too bothered about the crying either way, I wasn't even aware of apparently such a heated discussion going on regarding that.

    The crying didn't make me like the record more, or less for that matter. It comes up in one song only (one good song in a really solid collection of high-energy punk songs), and, short-lived as the band was, it doesn't feel like some performance they put on just for the sake of it.

    It sounds like it came naturally, not like it's supposed to be a performance (or some bid to out-emo other bands - from the lyrics or their other projects, I don't imagine this band gave a flying puck about sounding 'emo' or being particularly 'emotional' - it seems they just played the music they wanted out and that's something I can respect, that's all you can wish for in any genre/band/musician/artist/person/...), so I'm fine with it.

    Anyway, half a decade earlier, there was crying (or shrieking like a pig that's being slaughtered)... Drink deep... same discussion there, just as unnecessary and completely passing by the lyrics.

    One thing that makes me cringe about this 'scene' (rather than the, mostly defunct, bands themselves, which are often great) is how much time people waste raving about how 'emotional' a delivery was (usually 'back in the day' and 'I was there, I sucked on the drummer's pinky toe in a squat that's just how dope I was and today there is nothing like that anymore' - which is ironic since they seem completely and bitterly hung up on the past, yet they're praising bands that often stressed how important it is to live in the moment and be fully aware of oneself in the present and look to the future for change and growth), or that 'the band were crying on stage' and 'this was real emo' (as if, before and after the glorious nineties, no musician and no fan ever felt any emotions or was able to convey feeling musically or lyrically, I mean... LOL!) and what not - instead of talking about the lyrics, the great guitar and rhythm work some of these bands have laid down, etc.

    So when I show bands like Navio Forge to friends, I'm not embarrassed about some guy crying. I am embarrassed about all the comments under the videos, debating whether the crying makes this a good, or a bad, song. i.e. the legends and myths that are built around such records - even religions and cults aren't that sappy.

    My five cents. No offense intended (despite peppered words) to anyone who feels different.

  5. maaan, i forgot this song for over nearly 20 years...
    i loved it so hard back in the days, and i put it on EVERY mixtape i made for friends! i think it's one of the gatest hits of this decade, such as Native Nod's "back to mimsey" or "9 years old" from Policy Of 3...
    and yeah, i feel the same like you here (Germany, just a few thousand miles away...). I just got 40, and i still buy and collect emo/hardcore records from that time ('cause now i earn the Money that i haven't had by that time, which was the reason why i had all that stuff... but only on tapes, haha...)
    thank you for reminding me of that essentiell Piece of love