I have really reworked my music collection in the past few years. I haven't added a ton, but I have filed away a good portion to digital storage. Or purgatory. I don't really listen to a lot of music that I listened to in college, much less high school. I occasionally listen to a song here and there, and Jaime listens to more than I do, so I hear it. I feel like they do not have the resonance with me they did, even the ones I can still artistically appreciate. The few I can artistically appreciate, I should say. The one band I will periodically dust off and really enjoy is Avail. Jaime has a real soft spot for them, since she hung out with them more than me. She even helped them with their Japanese during their tour in Osaka. She has some funny stories of karaoke with bewildered Japanese girls and tattooed Virginia boys that I still get a kick out of hearing. That was in '98, I believe, which seems like a really long time ago. Of course, I first heard Satiate in 1992, almost exactly 17 years ago, which really seems a long time ago. I greatly enjoyed the first four albums they did, and didn't hear anything after that.
I don't know what it is about that band. The music is fun, and pretty good, but they don't blow you away with amazing work. There is just a consistent quality about the sound, and a relevancy to the lyrics that most punk rock, and especially most of that era, miss. They weren't exceptionally ponderous or dull, or pseudo-poetic. I can't take a lot of the early 90s hardcore now for that reason; so much of it sounds like it was written for an English class with an especially pompous professor. Avail was made up of reasonably smart but normal guys. They embodied a style we (mostly) jokingly referred to as "southern hardcore," and defined how I dressed to this day. If you see me on a normal day, I am wearing Dickies, a black tee, a boy scout belt, with a hoodie or simple fleece zip up. I don't wear boots as much, simply because I need running shoes to chase my kids. But I dress how I dressed in 1992 when I first heard of Avail, and saw they dressed like me. The only difference is I typically don't wear the shop shirt. I still have a closet full, though. I could break 'em out at any time.
When my kids ask me about my high school and college experience, I think I'll be honor bound to point them towards Avail. If I am totally honest with myself, they were the band that I liked the best, and listened to the most. That's not bad; there are a lot worse bands out there. There are probably better, I suppose. But there are none that my young self more resembled or appreciated.