Posts Tagged ‘Triple Fast Action


I’m Ready…

Opportunity may strike at your lowest point. It seems to hunt you down when you’re least expecting it. You’re down and out at work; but oh, shit, an exciting project now has your name on it. The day was already long enough, and you’re scheduled to attend this meeting; but oh, shit, it was just canceled – a gift of time. 60 minutes ago you were psyched to step into a workout, now you’re far from your house and out of gas; but damn, look what just rolled on.

There are different states during a ride for me no matter the duration and intensity: warm-up, huff and puff, feelin’ good, beginning to lag, and the adrenaline rush of near completion. Though I know a well-timed and appropriately themed playlist would generate more ummph and tenacity, creating a synchronized set of songs isn’t my thing. Instead, it’s a few E.P.s and albums placed in my queue upon sitting on my saddle. My spontaneous choices have been working.

The energy, the nostalgia, the impeccable songwriting, and the combustible instrumentation of Triple Fast Action’s Cattlemen Don’t is what I continue to return to. A great majority of this record is fully charged and ends up exploding sonically. Albums deserve to be experienced with headphones, the brilliance shines brighter, all the expressive nuances of each song ring truer when you’re immersed within that song’s world. Headphones almost force you to be present and one with the song.

While in the huff and puff phase of my ride, after a gradual, loose climb, my energy was waning. I was capable of staying in motion but the pace was the speed where being passed was likely. On a beautiful day, in a heavily populated open space, there is always someone creeping up. I own my age and how my muscle fibers aren’t what they once were. But like electrical paddles hoping to resurrect a normal heart rhythm, an under three-minute song possesses a similar capability: let’s rip! The surge that courses through my body upon hearing “I’m Ready” gave me an instant restart. I was ready for whatever was left ahead. This jolt of opportunity hit right when I needed it.


Cattlemen Don’t Is A Best Of…

A vinyl release of a coveted record is a blessing. There was a time where labels only pushed CDs upon us. At the time, it’s what we demanded. A small, round disc was portable, it could be kept on your shelf amongst hundreds of others; perhaps nice and snug in your car’s center console or stuck in your Discman. Everything has been flipped on its head today. Where once convenience was king, I strategically opt for a slower, more immersive experience. The perfect accompaniment that satisfies my late 90s self and my more mature, wiser ears has arrived: Cattlemen Don’t on wax from the surging Chicago quartet Triple Fast Action.

Like many acts of this era, their CD became a relic in my collection; they created two timeless albums and disbanded. It wasn’t atypical during their era and post TFA to run into fans claiming them as one of the best acts to come out of Chicago. “One of the best bands ever”, a drunken Chicago front man confided in me after his set at Gunther Murphy’s. This release sees Local H’s Scott Lucas penning the liner notes and corroborating my long held belief: the sheer strength this album holds from front to back.

Triple Fast Action possessed the ability to erupt sonically. They had fully charged guitars ready to rip; their sound was typical of a raging roller coaster that slowly ascended, catapulted you down the descent, and jostled your entire body and blasted your auditory system through the flat transitions. This record debuted a tighter, more confident act, one not scared to call out label suits, share a softer side, and crank all dials to 11. Loaded with hooks, masterful songwriting, intense guitar play, emotional ballads, and a regal assemblage of horns, this was an album that was the alternative to the alternative many think of from this period. Where many records from this period consisted of the same song 10 times over, Cattlemen Don’t consists of 13 unique offerings; each song was meticulously chiseled using a mold from the Broadcaster era, but this time, the band dug deep, stayed focused, and crafted a dizzying array of inventive guitar-based power pop to create an album sounding as fresh and formidable today as it was two plus decades ago.

It’s the end of the year, everyone has assembled their Best of Lists. I question how many of these records will be spun 23 years from now. Dropping the needle on a freshly pressed Cattlemen Don’t is cheer, it’s nostalgia, it’s loud, it’s without a doubt one of the strongest records in my collection, and it’s an excellent reminder of why we should all love Triple Fast Action.

And the loudest, biggest props to Forge Again Records for getting these much-anticipated records out to fans before Christmas. When I heard Justin from Forge Again was personally delivering records to Chicago residents, I realized how wise the band was to work with a label of this great integrity. Much respect!


Triple Fast Action’s Cattlemen Don’t 23 Years Later…

It needn’t be an even anniversary year to place your strongest release onto vinyl for the first time. 23 years post the release of your sophomore record might be the ideal time.

The formerly Chicago-based quartet Triple Fast Action have announced a vinyl release of Cattlemen Don’t. This 1997 record is highly regarded by a few reputable sources for its hooks, roller coaster ride sonics, excitable vocals, and craftsmanship-like songwriting. Chicagoist considered it “one of the best rock records you’ve probably never heard”. It’s not on Spotify, was only released on CD thanks to NYC’s Deep Elm Records and sadly was released less than a year before the band disbanded. This release sounds loaded and ready to rip:

TFA’s drummer Brian St. Clair on this long-awaited release:

Cattlemen Don’t got a really great push when it was originally released in 1997 via Deep Elm Records. Had we stayed together we probably would have moved onto things like a vinyl issue and another record. While we missed the 20-year anniversary of the album, our desire to get it out on vinyl only increased with each passing year. Finally, after rediscovering all of the lost tapes, we set out to make this a reality. Justin from Forge Again Records connected with me about his interest in the band and wanted to do the vinyl release.

And here we are today with a double album collection which covers not only the 1997 release, but also the three outtakes from those sessions. The diehard fans will also be psyched to know that it also includes six unreleased songs, two from a November 1994 session and four more from a sixteen-track recording session we did at our practice space around the same time we recorded Cattlemen Don’t. We hope all the fans out there enjoy the heart and soul we put into this music.”

Local H’s Scott Lucas is guesting on this record. He’s contributing to the liner notes of the double record gatefold. Lucas’ meticulous creative process for his latest record Lifers is proof he respects the physical release. A lot has transpired in close to two decades and a half, but one constant remains: 90s guitar-based Chicago rock.

Forge Again Records

“I’m Ready” from TFA’s Cattlemen Don’t was featured on last month’s Deep Elm Records: 25 Years Vol. 1

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May 2021