From time to time, the lively commenters here at Always Double Back have opined about the state of Connecticut music. What gets them most excited is the inevitable question: What is the greatest Connecticut band of all time? Is it NRBQ? The Nutmegs? Or perhaps the Chambers Brothers, who appear to be from Mississippi and L.A., but whom I was told are from Stamford by a dude at a party once?

Well, I vote for New Haven’s Miracle Legion anyway. Especially now that I just got a burn of their long out-of-print debut EP, The Backyard, in the mail (thanks to Rick from the Lost 45’s, another good CT band). The six-song record, released in 1984 on Rough Trade, brought Miracle Legion flattering, if ultimately limiting, comparisons to R.E.M. and was the first step to one of those typically fleeting early 90s major-label deals (with Morgan Creek for 1992’s Drenched).

Having heard the later stuff, what surprised me most about The Backyard is how fully realized the band’s songwriting, energy, and sound already was in ’84. This is great, jangly, melodic stuff, and to me sounds just right for the summer.

Side one of The Backyard is in this folder. Songs are “The Backyard,” “Butterflies,” and “Closer to the Wall.”

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