November 22, 2013

Notes from the Paisley Underground: 28th Day - The Complete Recordings (1985/2003)

Hailing from Chico, a small Northern California college-town that was one of the lesser-known corners of the 1980s-era paisley scene, 28th Day was several cuts above the plethora of neo-psych and jangle-pop bands that then littered the landscape, as they featured Cole Marquis' darkly evocative guitar-work (reminiscent of Karl Precoda of The Dream Syndicate) and a young Barbara Manning who would later go on to become a well-loved and semi-legendary fixture on the S.F. music scene. While 28th Day was fated to only remain together long enough to release a self-titled mini-album on Enigma Records (produced by Russ Tolman of True West), in doing so, they managed to leave behind what is simultaneously one of the best neo-psych albums of the 1980s, and one of the most under-appreciated albums associated (albeit marginally) with the paisley movement. 28th Day was Manning's first tour of duty in a band and Marquis was not much more than a neophyte himself as they set about searching for their distinctively folky post-punk, psych-drenched sound. Manning: "28th Day's first year was similar to any beginning band's first one. By this time Cole knew all our songs, being a fan of ours, so when our guitarist quit because he wanted to be a professional DJ, Cole stepped in and it was awesome. I was afraid our relationship would kill the band (as it did), but the magic really worked when we played together. We lived together. We went to school together. We wrote songs and helped to arrange them. But we were very bad at being faithful to each other."

Barbara Manning during her Chico State days
Marquis: "We were so green in the beginning, we could hardly play, but we all believed in what we were doing. We were having fun, and we didn't hold anything back. We made up for the lack of skill with energy, fear, alcohol and faith." What skill deficiencies the band may have had at the time seem completely irrelevant on songs such as "25 Pills," the lead track on 28th Day, a somber jangle-pop gem about drug addiction that pushes close to the brand of melancholia that Joy Division specialized in. And then there's the beautiful "Burnsite," featuring Marquis and Manning's hauntingly intertwined vocals and a paranoia-inducing arrangement (including screams from Manning) that it occasionally reminiscent of David Roback's Opal. Nevertheless, what sets 28th Day apart is their ability to mix in a song such as "Lost," a folky garage-rocker that should have become a paisley anthem, but instead was fated, like the band itself, to footnote status. Marquis: "We were a couple then. I was really into Joy Division at the time, Wire, The Beatles, The Doors, Dream Syndicate. Bobbie [Manning] and I were never that much into punk rock. I started writing these three chord songs like "25 Pills" or "Holiday," it just had that psychedelic sound 'cos that's what I  was listening to and it was easy to play for me." Manning: "How Do I explain it? We were very young. It was our first band. We thought we were the best band in the world. We started to hate each other. Isn't it only natural?"

The Complete Recordings (1985/2003)
 1. 25 Pills
 2. Where the Bears Sing 
 3. This Train 
 4. I'm Only Asking 
 5. Dead Sinner
 6. Pages Turn
 7. Lost
 8. Burnsite
 9. Instrumental #1 
10. Holiday
11. Stones of Judgement 
12. Pages Turn (Alternate Version)
13. Life Story 
14. It's All Too Much (Live)
15. Talk All Night(Live)
16. She's Alright (Live)
17. Don't Rewind (Live)
18. Prophecy Written (Demo)
19. No Sun, No Shadow (Demo)
20. Only in Their Dreams (Demo)

Links in Comments


  1. mp3v0




  2. I can't emphasize enough how important this record is. It's brilliant. I always admire the bands that release one really amazing self-titled album and then retreat back into anonymity.

    We should do a series on that.

  3. that would be a really unique series. So many garage bands would fit that idea

  4. Wonderful post. It would be nice (if possible) to see The Three O'Clock posted here along with some more paisley sound luminaries.

    1. definitely- we will be posting deep into the paisley scene. True West next, the Three O'Clock, and much more to come

  5. reupload the the record please

  6. Wonderful, thank you for making this very hard-to-find album available!