This record is like an earthquake at a crossroads, and I won’t soon forget the first time I heard it. I was on tour selling band merch and TNI Books stuff with Pedro the Lion in California, early in 1999. We were waiting in a Krispy Kreme drive-thru at 1am after a gig.
There were two automobiles rolling in tandem; the band in their 15-passenger, and some friends/fans following along in their beater sedan behind. I was in with the friends/fans, in the backseat.
Leaving the club that night after load-out, Bazan passed me a CD-R with sloppy Sharpie scrawl which held the new EP set for release soon. It was a nice way to allow a listen without his beady driver-seat eyes in the mix. Remember, the full title here is: “The Only Reason I Feel Secure (Is That I Am Validated By My Peers)."
Idling in a long and slow line of 8 or 15 cars wanting late-night donuts, we popped the disc in, gave it a spin, and let me tell you it fucked me up hard. Halfway thru the five songs, I was wholly overwhelmed. I climbed out of that backseat and then into the van with the band, and turned on some serious water works. This shit was a pivot, for Bazan and for the twisted roadmap of Christian (and ex-Christian) Rock.
I remember telling him that everything seemed different, open, and wholly broken. This is the OG pressing, Made in Mexico Records!