Dark Backward with media mogul C. King at the Cubby Bear in Chicago - April 2011

Phrase and fable - Dark Backward CD release at Oregon Express

Dark Backward know their music and they know Dayton. Made up of guitarists Eric Purtle and Jeff Brelsford, bassist Max Nye and drummer Jim Ingram, the quartet are all scene veterans, some of whom have been playing music in the Gem City for more than 20 years. While trends have come and gone, the musicians as individuals and as a collective have a fierce commitment to honing their art on their own self-professed "anything goes ethos" ever since the band's inception in the early 2000s.

Since then, the band has gone from an experimental recording project to fully functioning live act that has wrecked eardrums and blown minds over the past several years. And that's what they've done with their third and newest full-length opus entitled Phrase and Fable - a joint release between Waggletone Records out of North Carolina and Dayton's own Worst Case Scenario Records. The songs on Phrase and Fable effortlessly shift from frantic, post-punk ruckus to strangely infectuous choruses to artsy alt-rock to fist in the air punk rock energy - sometimes all within the same song. Dark Backward's seeming refusal to neatly fit into any one musical genre or style is indeed one of the most outstanding things about what they do and truly sets them apart from many other bands in Dayton and gives them an identity of intrigue most bands only dream about.

Gary Spencer - Dayton City Paper

Mute Memorials - Dark Backward's Ambitious New Album

Sometimes getting the final pieces of a puzzle can seriously alter perception. That's the case with local rockers Dark Backward, which started in 2000 as an outlet for the home-spun, art-damaged music of Max Nye (bass, vocals) and Eric Purtle (guitar, vocals). However the musical focus shifted to a heavier brand of melodic post-punk when Jeff Brelsford (guitar) and Jim Ingram (drums) joined in 2008.

"That early stuff Max and I did doesn't really have anything to do with what we're doing now," Purtle said. "We were playing a couple of songs I had left over from Luxury Pushers, but we ended up scrapping them too because they weren't working for us. We were trying to find out legs and those songs didn't have a damn thing to do with them."

The members of Dark Backward certainly seemed grounded on the group's ambitious full-length debut, "Mute Memorials," which gets its official release at Oregon Express on Saturday, June 26.

"It's sort of meant to play in three acts," Purtle said. "We decided to run with it and see if it was lame or not, and it actually turned out pretty good. I'm proud as hell of this record."

The material was recorded at Fredzo's Studio by Fred Vahldiek in December and January.

"Fred has had relationships with each of us in one band or another so he knows he can tell us anything and we won't be offended," Ingram said. "Plus if he says something, he's probably right and we should look into it."

"Fred is great," Nye said. "He's got all the patience in the world and he's willing to work with you on price. And we were really prepared. We demoed the album at home before we went to Fred's so we wouldn't waste any time. We knew exactly what we wanted to do walking in, and that's what we had walking out."

Don Thrasher - Dayton Daily News

Mute Memorials Review

After nearly a decade spent in the basement recording for albums that were never to be, seasoned veterans Dark Backward finally emerged as a fully-formed band in 2008 and promptly set to flattening eardrums throughout the Gem City. Featuring Eric Purtle [Luxury Pushers/Mondolux], Max Nye [Dementia Precox], Jeff Brelsford [Sexicon/Mondolux], and Jim Ingram, this quartet issue their debut disc, Mute Memorials, this weekend at Oregon Express. While the disc contains much of the aggro fury you would expect from the band's respective pedigree, buried deep within its gooey center lies a sonic departure that gives the disc an unexpected range. Drawing on at least three generations of British post-punk that gives the songs a pronounced tunefulness and subtle application of swirling backgrounds and applying just a hint of disco, Dark Backward delivers a depth that will certainly beg repeated spins.

The Buddha Den