Quarterstick Records QS44, 1996. Second full length from the now-deceased June of 44.

Recorded by Bob Weston (hero) -- this album's experience starts at the packaging. A beautiful, hand-drawn lookin' foldout includes obscure tattoos obtained by the Paul Rogers Tattoo Research Center. Inside is a sheet of 12 bizarre original stamps in wax paper.

And the CD. It's a really unfair thing; it kicks off with "Anisette", which is a great song and a high water mark for the band. It carries an immediate feel while grooving slowly. Gradually burning, this music could be boring if were played by the wrong people.

But these are the right folks: Fred Erskine's bass work would be acclaimed from the freakin' mountaintop in a perfect world, Doug Scharin nails the drum accents with rollicking n' roiling jazz inflection, and Sean Meadows and Jeff Mueller build stairs with guitars. The "riff", more a central idea, is almost identical for every song; only slight changes build tension and wonderment.

Anisette will always remind me of swaying back and forth, hammer in hand. And a time in life when nothing mattered besides sitting in the sun with a crappy guitar, playing along. I can't ever quite tell what time signature it's in. It's a blissful thing. The aftermath is only a bonus.