My initial reaction to hearing the rumor of 108 breaking up was a mixture of emotions ranging from disappointment to disbelief, particularly with their newest album being released this month. Various information came out where Rob Fish, the vocalist of 108, no longer seemed to feel as strongly about his place in the band even partially trapped by its legacy and themes; so, Rob left 108. For a time, it looked as though the band would be done once again, which saddened me.
108 has always been a special band to me. When I was an impressionable high school kid, 108 was on a mix tape passed to me during mythology class; I played the hell out of this tape, but more specifically the 108 songs on it. It was strange hearing this band scream its head off in "Deathbeds" the first time because I my picture of Hare Krishnas came from Airplane! ; this was intense and blew my mind that 108 was singing about concepts from the Bhagavad Gita and Gaudiya Vaishnavism.
Even still, the aggressive music intrigued me. I rushed out and and found Songs of Separation when I could, and again, this album received many spins in my CD player and tape deck (I dubbed the CD to play in my car since I only had a tape deck in it). A couple of years later, Three Fold Misery came out and I became obsessed with the band; the record was just great, but 108 would break up not long after its release.
For years I could only reminisce about the band and listen to their music on my stereo, then they reunited for Hellfest which did not happen, but the band played the First Unitarian Church in Philadelphia. Seeing them was awesome. The band eventually released a new album A New Beat From A Dead Heart, which was an energetic kick to my own ass.
Fast forward to today and 108 is on the verge of releasing a new album 18.61 (pictured above) while entrenched in some inner turmoil. Rob is leaving the band, and 108 will attempt to soldier on without him. Vic DiCara was always the driving force behind the band; so, I cannot say that the future for the band is bleak...different, yes...bleak, no. In any case, I still love this band and cannot wait for the new album and hope that the band does what they feel led to do.