If indie/emo second-wavers The Promise Ring are famous for one thing, it’s probably leader Davey von Bohlen’s precedent of grown men intentionally encouraging the use of the diminutive forms of their first names. Thanks to his truly inspiring wussiness, rapidly aging men everywhere learned that they could soften their image (and, hence, fuck more college chicks) simply by advertising themselves on paper as a wide-eyed manboy who had Radio Flyer decals on his manual-transmission two-door. Heck, if it wasn’t for Davey’s influence, you might be reading Nobodad’s news story right now. But he probably wouldn’t get laid at music journalism conferences nearly as much as Nobodaddy does.
But apart from their singer (calling him a “vocalist” is just plain incorrect) giving men an excuse to be creeps, The Promise Ring’s secondary impact was, my editor tells me, their music. And what better way to celebrate that music than with a nice little reunion run? As Alternative Press reports, Promise Ring’s “formative lineup” — von Bohlen, drummer Dan Didier, guitarist Jason Gnewikow, and bassist Scott Schoenbeck — will be celebrating the… um, anniversary of, I don’t know what exactly… by releasing a new album of rarities next summer on Dangerbird Records (home to Didier and von Bohlen’s Maritime project). According to Didier, the album will feature “one song from the Wood/Water session that didn’t make the record [“All Good Souls”… as well as] three songs that we demoed before W/W that again, were rockers, that we never recorded for the record. There are a few different odds and ends as well throughout, but that will be the meat of it.” Oh good. Because everyone totally loved the LiteFM, adult-contempo mess that was Wood/Water, right?
Luckily, the band is also reuniting to play a few shows in early 2012, and they’ll probably play songs from the good albums at those. As of now, they’ll be hitting their hometown of Milwaukee on February 24, followed by Chicago on February 25. Tickets for both shows are on sale now and are probably quickly being snatched up by balding 30-year-olds all across the Midwest. But if you can’t get tickets to these shows, don’t cry in your thrift store golf shirt just yet. Didier seems to think that, at the very least, a few more live performances are likely. “From there [after the release of the rarities album], we will look into potentially doing more shows throughout 2012,” he said. Then again, I’d trust him more if his name was Danny, wouldn’t you?
02.24.12 - Milwaukee, WI - Turner Hall
02.25.12 - Chicago, IL - Metro