Excepting the extreme D.I.Y. ethos, it's Dischord's slow and steady stylistic shifts that have kept things so interesting. The '80s were defined by fierce 4/4 punk, the '90s perfected heavy, anomalous grooves, and the '00s have had a thing for cerebrally fetching rock. Each Dischord band draws so much from its label predecessors, though, that it's difficult to spot the exact progression as opposed to a gradual morph. But the continuum certainly explains how, in 155 releases, Dischord has moved from blistering hardcore to sing-along pop.
Of the label's past five releases, one was by a solo artist, one was by a three-piece rock group and three were by guy-girl duos. Together, The Aquarium, The Evens and Soccer Team are a new co-ed age of Dischord. But the similarities extend beyond chromosomes and into the essence of Dischord's discography. Soccer Team's Ryan Nelson and Melissa Quinley and The Evens' Ian MacKaye and Amy Farina both draw from finer moments of Fugazi, The Warmers and The Beauty Pill, but they refuse to be defined by previous efforts. Sometimes they're highly structured, other times they're stripped down, but they always sound like they're coming from the District. Sure, The Evens have one marketable advantage over Soccer Team—namely, its personnel—but since when is Dischord about marketing?
Soccer Team plays with Natasha and Antelope on Wednesday, Nov. 1 at 10 p.m. at The Reservoir in Chapel Hill. Donations are encouraged.