It is 2022, and the world is in chaos. A mere three years ago, all of our lives were radically different. It seems that over the past two years, everyone has experienced a heartbreak, a disconnection and a loss.
For the first time, people you know and don’t know, around the world, have experienced a related and collective trauma. It is hard when everyone is suffering in one way or another. It seems like everyone is fighting one or another. It would be much better if we were all much nicer to each other, and as you know, that is not how things have been going.
This blog is for the people out there who know what pain and hurt and loneliness feels like and for all our friends, families, supporters and loved ones. I could not write a proper record review to save my life, but this ain’t a record review; this is about the true spirit, energy, and power of hardcore punk music. To all those reading these words, listen, we need each other, more now than ever. So while the words below may mean very little to you, when you listen to TREE’s “A Lot to Fear” masterpiece, try to remember the way you felt as a kid, going to a punk show and feeling alive, free, safe and a part of something.
That power still exists today, and maybe, just maybe, the music that “saved your life, or the music “that saved my life”; maybe that music, that power, that energy, that truth, that honesty and that love – maybe just maybe – that power of the pure punk rock spirit is what the world needs now.
I am at fault for having often been an elitist punk rock jerk.
When you are a kid and trying to find your way, you want to belong. Sometimes as an adult too.
Tree is a band that made it so anyone could belong.
It’s been decades since I listened to Tree. In a recent eleven day period, I have listened to their “A Lot to Fear” album fifteen times.
My first exposure to Tree was when they played at the Channel in Boston, on some weeknight in ‘91. This was a huge club, with a very high stage, and while there were not so many people in attendance, they played with the intensity that thousands would deserve.
𝑃𝑢𝑛𝑘 𝑖𝑠 𝑚𝑎𝑛𝑦 𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑛𝑔𝑠 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑇𝑟𝑒𝑒 𝑚𝑒𝑡 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑚𝑎𝑟𝑘 𝑖𝑛 𝑚𝑜𝑟𝑒 𝑤𝑎𝑦𝑠 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑛 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑦 𝑤𝑒𝑟𝑒 𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑟 𝑔𝑖𝑣𝑒𝑛 𝑐𝑟𝑒𝑑𝑖𝑡 𝑓𝑜𝑟.
What matters to me is the right here, right now. It is my honor to pay tribute to a truly classic Boston Hardwood band.
“So I suffer for no explanation”
Tree is brilliant. Dave Tree is brilliant.
I did not understand that Tree was the battle anthem of my youth.
As you read these tributes to the bands that gave me a reason to live each day, you will learn how I was not fully present in ‘93, when Tree released their “A Lot to Fear” masterpiece.
You also will learn that I care much more about describing the way the music makes me feel, my personal connection to it, the people, the time period and the experiences connected to it, than I care about describing the music. Because at the end of the day that is what draws us to anything – context and connection.
It is easy to be a critic. I choose to be a lover.
Now, as a forty-seven year old man living for two years in a mountain town, in a place where I barely speak the language, I get to live Tree, in all their red-hot glory, for the first time.
Most people do not get a second chance in life to start over. It’s hard. It is also truly awesome. Seriously, what better way to begin this blog series than with a band as authentic as Tree.
This piece by Craig Lewis was originally published via IDIOTEQ. Please check out his punk rock and healing oriented projects here.