Back in 1986, new University of Hawaii dorm residents Mike
Ailes and Dylan Magierek were introduced by a mutual friend
who insisted “they had to meet”. And why not? They
shared musical tastes and hair that was much too long for
the Honolulu climate.
They started out as a trio under the name Yank with dorm
buddy Lance Helgeson on drums. Lance was a Resident Advisor
and had keys to a storage room at the top of the Hale Ilima
dorm on campus. This tiny wedge-shaped room was just big
enough to fit a three-piece band and served as both
rehearsal space and recording studio.
After several equally lousy band name choices (Trampled
Under Foot, Travesty...), the relocation of Lance to the
Mainland, and the addition/resignation/addition/eventual
loss of Shane Ushijima on drums, the remaining duo began
working on a collection of original pop songs. After
enlisting the help of energetic bass player-turned-drummer
Lars, they set about recording five tracks in a shitty
section of historic Pearl City, Hawaii.
The songs deal with topics such as as the ongoing
destruction of the environment (Seeing Green), the desire to
leave’s one’s life behind in search of a new start (The
Equator) and the true story of a child murdering his parents
(The Night We Talked). Magierek’s sister actually had a
conversation with the killer in “The Night We Talked”
while unknowingly standing over the freshly buried bodies of
his parents in the front yard. While the topics are heavy,
they are delivered in a pristinely crafted pop format
not reflected in the band’s original name, Excommunication.
Originally recorded on a 4-track cassette machine in 1988,
here is their 2009 digital debut.