“If everybody got a chance to see Rye Coalition play, they’d go again. And if they could find their records, they’d buy millions of them. These guys are bad-ass. And they can fucking smoke anybody.”- Dave Grohl
When they signed with one of the world’s biggest record labels, Rye Coalition was primed to finally get their glory, or so it seemed. Like countless rockers before them, childhood best friends started a band in a basement with a couple simple goals in mind: have fun and play good music. As one of the first bands to develop the new “emo” sound, they were at the forefront of a movement that included Shellac, Sunny Day Real Estate, Jawbreaker and Karp (with whom they later recorded a legendary 12″ split). Rye Coalition’s first recording was a demo cassette tape (1994′s “Dancing Man”, self-released), backed by an East Coast tour in a beat up schoolbus long before most of them had their driver’s license.
For over a decade they blasted through a seemingly endless array of basement shows and dive bar gigs as their talent and fan base grew. They released albums on indie labels and toured the country on bigger and bigger bills: (At-the-Drive-in, Mars Volta, Queens of the Stone Age , Foo Fighters). After gaining momentum from 2002′s “On Top” LP, engineered by Steve Albini, they were signed to Dreamworks Records and none other than Dave Grohl (Nirvana) came on as their producer. Then, it all imploded. As Henry Owings of Chunklet put it- “Rye Coalition has had the worst luck of any band I can think of.”
This film traces their career (culled from over 20 years of home movies and unseen tour footage) supplemented with new interviews with the band and those who know them best. Although the band was praised by critics and supported by an absurdly dedicated grassroots fan base, somehow these Jersey rockers never got their due. Until now.
Featuring: Steve Albini (Shellac), David Clifford (Red Sparowes), Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters), Tim Green (Nation of Ulysses), Charles Maggio (Rorschach), Jon Theodore (Queens of the Stone Age), Jared Warren (Melvins).
Director: Jenni Matz, 2014; 77 minutes.