by Josh Levi
St. Louis' musical history features a wealth of local D.I.Y. talent whose cultural significance has further solidified an ever-expanding reputation for true musicianship and solid attitude. Stemming from the underbelly of the river city, bands like Dazzling Killmen, White Pride and In Medias Res have resonated with music enthusiasts both near and far. Unfortunately, as often is the case, it is easy for handfuls of acts to fall into obscurity from the public arena, leaving only recordings.
In an effort to shine light upon local bands from the past, I've decided to share selected audio gems from acts that have either been forgotten or who never received deserved recognition. This feature will highlight recordings and conduct interviews, providing a peek into the past. Culled from local band members as well as my personal collection, these recordings will hopefully find a new home in the hearts of a growing generation of music lovers in St. Louis. This week: Two tracks from In Medias Res -- "Labor of Love" and "The House (Live at 2 Keys)."
"Labor of Love" by In Medias Res
Band: In Medias Res (2001-2004) Members: Casey Delf, Kit Gesmundo, Sam Meyer, Jason Sim; Secondary Members: Dave Turncrantz, Greg Stinson Related: 2 Keys Ensemble, xKRRx, Lost To Metric, Cardiac Arrest Recommended if you like: Fugazi, Q And Not U, Gang Of Four, Liars, The Minutemen
History: Born out of the legendary 2 Keys House, In Medias Res hit the scene with a much-needed dose of frenetic post-punk. Operating within the burgeoning St. Louis punk underground of the early aughts, the band's brand of electrically charged dance punk quickly became a crowd favorite, offering balance to a mainly hardcore community. At venues like the Rocket Bar and Creepy Crawl, IMR exerted the quintessential cool opening for acts such as Q and Not U, Les Savy Fav and 90 Day Men.
By combining the off-kilter staccato of guitarist Kit Gusmundo with the fluidity of Delf/Meyer's punk-funk rhythms, In Medias Res created explosive post-punk you could move to. Often known to whip fans into an out-of-control dance party, anthemic crowd-pleasers like "Labor of Love," exhibited singer Jason Sim's ability to shift from languid drawl to angst-ridden howl. Merging the structural ridges of post-punk with the stylistic versatility of experimentation, this expert live band's shining originality serves as inspiration to anyone doubting St. Louis musical significance.
"Labor of Love" is featured on the Adequate seven-inch (2003), the first release on the 2 Keys imprint. Copies can still be found at Vintage Vinyl and www.interpunk.com
"The House (Live at 2 Keys)" by In Medias Res