May 10, 2017 | by Jocelyn Hoppa
Don't dismiss the great Garden State or you'll be way deep down in our bogus bag. We're pro New Jersey over here at NR! (at least two of us occupy the state), so we'd be remiss if we didn't mention that local mid-'90s band The Van Pelt are set to have a reissue moment on May 12th. Two fairly neglected post-hardcore albums, 1996's Stealing From Our Favorite Thieves and 1997’s Sultans Of Sentiment, have been remastered from the original tapes and Thieves got some new artwork.
Led by songwriter Chris Leo (The Lapse), both albums, originally released on the esteemed Gern Blandsten label (Ted Leo, Liars, Rye Coalition, Weston, Chisel, Canyon, etc.), have been out of print since the early ‘00s. Along with Leo, both albums featured Neil O’Brien on drums (Butterflies of Love), along with Toko Yasuda (Blonde Redhead/Enon) on bass for Thieves, and a rotating cast.
Here's a clip of The Van Pelt playing a show way the fuck back in 1997. Watch and swim around in the distinct sound of the New Jersey '90s East Coast underground, where the bands were a bit more weird and certainly more hopeless than their DC counterparts.