FOR AGAINST • Shade Side Sunny Side
[CD released April 2008]

Shade Side Sunny Side is For Against's seventh full-length record and first studio album since 2002. As the Lincoln, Nebraska trio approaches their 25th anniversary on the independent music scene, For Against has reemerged with an exclamation point: Shade Side Sunny Side is a landmark record for the band, boasting For Against's darkest (and loudest) material to date. The post-punk roots of For Against's early years are firmly in place, but presented throughout nine new songs with a more expansive and atmospheric sonic palette.

Shade Side Sunny Side also marks the notable return of original For Against guitarist Harry Dingman III, who formed For Against with vocalist and bassist Jeffrey Runnings back in 1984. Dingman left the band after 1988's seminal dream pop record, December. For the new album, the prolific Runnings-Dingman songwriting team picks up right where they left off 20 years ago, when they wrote the classic postpunk material that comprised Echelons, December, and In The Marshes all within a 2-year span.

"Glamour," the album's opening track, is a fierce proposition that tours the early Factory Records sound before segueing into a cold post-punk stomp coated by Runnings' icy vocals.

Songs like "Underestimate" and the album closer "Irresistible" sparkle with a pop grandeur hinted at by 2002's Coalesced, but are infused with unmistakable guitarwork revealing the fingerprints of Dingman's return: searing feedback, atmospheric chord-play, and inspired hooks coaxed together to form a musical backbone that is both furious and gorgeous.

These varied sonic textures have also given drummer Paul Engelhard the largest creative space he has enjoyed during his 17-year tenure - from the dynamic skip beats in "Game Over," to the propulsive tom-toms of "Glamour," to the minimalistic post-rock stylings of "Spirit Lake."

"Aftertaste" is a blistering song that melds the musical sensibilities of Joy Division's early Warsaw years with production by Marc Ostermeier (Should) hinting at Wire's 154. The album also includes a cover version of "Friendly Fires," written by Factory Records' Section 25, from their 1981 debut Always Now.

Shade Side Sunny Side also includes some of the most heartrending accounts by Runnings to date. The album reveals itself as a confessional and therapeutic musical diary, with several songs recounting the tragic life and loss of a close family member, from the acerbic "Glamour," to the haunting ballad "Why Are You So Angry?," and culminating in "Game Over," where Runnings is at his most defenseless, singing nakedly on piano through the first verse and chorus.

For Against's musicianship on Shade Side Sunny Side is in top form, reflecting a maturity befitting their quarter-century of songwriting and performances and a freshness that has drawn together an interesting union of dream pop enthusiasts in the USA and a strong darkwave following in Europe.
This is just a fabulous work, one of the most unnerving and yet often resplendently gorgeous records I've heard in some time. Every time I play it, it unfolds new layers of feeling, unlocking new mysteries of the clash between head and heart, and digs in harder with the simple clarity of its musical force. Album of the year? So far it sure as hell is.
-- Jack Rabid, The Big Takeover

It's a pleasure to hear a group that has constantly defied the odds still sound fresh and vibrant. This is very much a For Against of now rather than of then, the sweet melancholia of the past turned both more haunted and more angry. Runnings' seemingly deathless voice retains its light, clear quality, as all the group's albums have always shown, but matched again with Dingman's powerful playing, it just seems all that much more right.
-- All Music Guide

For Against have been nothing short of great since their formation in 1985 and Shade Side Sunny Side is the band's best effort yet. The interplay between Dingman's guitar pyrotechnics and frontman Jeffrey Runnings' low rumbling bass put the likes of Interpol and The Killers to shame. This is what post-punk is supposed to sound like!
-- Skyscraper

Factory Records is a clearer influence than ever...And their musicianship is right up there with those legendary bands...This might be their toughest, most powerful LP yet. They're not building on past successes, they're making exciting music today, setting mighty fires of their own.
-- Erasing Clouds

They make their icy gloom appealing in a way nobody's really managed since the Comsat Angels packed it in. It's good to know they're out there, getting better with age, and staying true to their sound despite geographical isolation.
-- PopMatters

With their balance of euphoria and miserablism nailed down to perfection, remarkably For Against seem to have reached a peak after all this time.
-- Leonard's Lair (UK)

You'll hear something new every time you listen to it, new nuances and textures pop their head up. Just when you think this bunch is dead they always manage to come back and blow your mind and this record is no exception.
-- Dagger

Shade Side Sunny Side is a very satisfying piece of work that keeps the band's streak of never putting a foot wrong alive. They still capture the gloominess of those early Factory Records releases better than just about anybody.
-- Exclaim! (Canada)

Even after 25 years this is a band that continues to explore, develop and challenge both themselves and their fans.
-- Pennyblackmusic (UK)
Shade Side Sunny Side

Summer Sale!

1. glamour (6:13)
2. underestimate (3:25)
3. why are you so angry? (4:49)
4. aftertaste (3:43)
5. friendly fires (7:36)
6. game over (7:39)
7. spirit lake (4:18)
8. quiet please (6:07)
9. irresistible (5:53)

For Against

Additional Releases