What better way to start things off than to go all the way back to 1991... The first official release by the young boys of Chisel sounded, well, not so much anything like the later sound that would garner them more acclaim than pretty much any other band to come out of the Bend at the time. The A-side certainly hinted at things to come, but B-side "Listen" has a darker, more aggressive vibe that would soon fade away in favor of Chisel's trademark mod-pop melodies. Ted Leo once described this song as "solid thrash."
Here's a little background on the early days of Chisel from their Wikipedia page:
Chisel began in 1990 on the campus of the University of Notre Dame, when classmates Ted Leo (guitar/vocals), Chris Infante (bass), and John Dugan (drums) began practicing in the basement of a campus dormitory. Leo had played punk shows with bands such as Animal Crackers in New York's all-ages scene and Dugan had drummed with the Washington, D.C. area punk act Indian Summer from the age of fifteen. The band quickly went from playing a covers set (Wire, Misfits, Buzzcocks, Mission of Burma) to playing original songs written by Leo. Chisel began to perform at various college venues in the Midwest and Northeast, visiting clubs such as D.C. Space in Washington and ABC No Rio in New York City.After only having a cassette dub for the longest time, I eventually found this 7" at a used record store in TX for a buck. Enjoy.
In 1991, the band released its first single, Swamp Fox/Spike b/w Listen, on Assembly Records, and followed it up with appearances on compilations released by college radio stations WVFI in Notre Dame, Indiana and WPRB in Princeton, New Jersey. In 1992, Infante graduated from college and was replaced on bass by Chris Norborg, who also provided the backing vocal harmonies that soon became integral to Chisel's sound. It was during this period that the band began to change its style from traditional emo-influenced pop punk that was inspired by contemporaries in Washington, D.C., to more of a mod-influenced band in the vein of the Small Faces and The Jam.
Chisel - Swamp Fox/Spike b/w Listen