Lost Classics: Small Factory “For If You Cannot Fly”

tapem200bThey’re nobody’s buzz bands anymore. But since 1993, MAGNET has discovered and documented more great music than memory will allow. The groups may have broken up or the albums may be out of print, but this time, history is written by the losers. Here are some of the finest albums that time forgot but we remembered in issue #75, plus all-new additions to our list of Lost Classics.

For If You Cannot Fly // Vernon Yard, 1994


Non-power trio Small Factory—bassist Alex Kemp, guitarist Dave Auchenbach and adorably named drummer Phoebe Summersquash (they all sang)—played prototypical indie rock that was usually catchier, and almost always more precious, than that of its contemporaries. This second LP featured a slightly tougher, occasionally abrasive sound but was ultimately more consistent than 1993’s I Do Not Love You. Given the Providence, R.I., band’s fondness for nakedly confessional lyrics, it wouldn’t be surprising if any number of emo outfits professed a devotion to this honest, compelling record.

Catching Up: 1996 singles/rarities collection The Industrial Evolution shut down Small Factory with an appropriate whimper. Kemp and Summersquash’s Godrays sounded almost exactly like Small Factory with less inspiration. Kemp currently plays in Assassins, while Summersquash appeared as a drummer in Sarah Silverman’s Jesus Is Magic and is the subject of a song by Philly band Scary Monster. Auchenbach has produced bands such as Wheat and Lightning Bolt.

“The Bright Side”: