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November 18, 2004


Vernon Lee, Singapore

I know it'll stir a lot of disagreement here but Drop Out is in my opinion the greatest album ever. Yes, I humbly submit I probably have heard many of the albums that grace The Greatest lists (never mind "Pet Sounds", never mind "Revolver", never mind "London Calling", "Never Mind The Bollocks" etc.) or the finest that the indie universe has to offer (many of which have mentioned within this website) - nothing comes close to move me as much as East Village's blend of layered guitar pop melodies that vacillate between forlorn yearning of broken hearts and summershine optimism. The day I heard "Break Your Neck", everything's changed. Ten years after buying Drop Out, it still penetrates deep into my heart and reverberates in my head whenever I play it. Similarly, Hot Rod Hotel is the flawless pop compilation that’s extremely rare, both on quantity and quality basis.

With only an album and five singles to their name (not counting Episode Four's "Strike Up Matches"), I can only cling on to a sliver of hope that the band may come together one day for a last hurrah. That may be perhaps too elusive, just like fleeting adolescent dreams. When the band said they set out to do something that no one else was doing, they were right. No one, before or after, has even come close to create the aural magic that East Village wielded from the late 80s to early 90s. Which explains why the last bid for Episode Four's "Strike Up Matches" on eBay went under the hammer for over US$400. Which explains why I made a friend walked the bewildering alleyways of Tokyo to hunt down an obscure record shop so that I can lay my hands on EV's "Black Autumn" 7" on Excellent Records and that I can be blessed to hear a mere three-minute-long instrumental brilliance in the form of the exclusive "Barrel Dog". Which explains why another friend of mine for whom I believe has one of the greatest indiepop collections in this world, chose East Village to be the one and only band he would set aside time for to do a website (as listed above). Why not? Because nothing else matters.



i think narrowing down to one 'all time classic' album is essentially pointless, not least because part of the appeal of different records is their ability to speak to different parts of your being. Having said that, i agree that Drop Out would certainly be in my shortlist of records vying for the notional prize regardless! Still can never see myself going to such lengths to get hold of records by particular artists - i think there's too much more to life than records - maybe i am mellowing in my old age. whatever. I also think that the Windmills records get very close to the appeal of East Village, particularly the 'Sunlight' album.


it's cold outside, it's always cold...
i'll hide inside, i'll always hide...
november leaves are falling...
it's an ordinary day...
but i want to be alone with you...

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