Let’s all time travel back to the early 2000’s again, when illegal downloading of music was just beginning to become common place, and new bands saw this digital revolution as an opportunity to get their music out to people beyond the limited scope of their local venues. As those of you who have read previous Lost Gems posts, you know mp3.com was a treasure trove for new, unsigned acts, with bands posting song for free download just to get people to listen to them.
One young power pop band who caught my ear and who I still listen to today were Long Island’s 231, specifically with their song “Turn and Walk Away”. At one time the #1 power pop song on mp3.com, the band received a fair amount of local airplay and support from their hometown crowd, but sadly didn’t seem to last much past the release of their album LoveLaughsHard. At least, not based on what I can find on the internet. Their music is nowhere to be found on the net (not even YouTube), and the only place their CD is available is used on Amazon.
This is a shame, as songs like “Turn and Walk Away” showed an incredibly strong knack for melodic hooks and big choruses. With folksy guitars and a driving beat, “Turn and Walk Away” is a sweeping kiss-off to an unfaithful lover, yet with the extra nuance of the narrator revealing their own weakness and struggle in deciding to leave their partner (“Now it’s my turn to turn and walk away. Cause if I look in your eyes I’ll die”). The power chords pick up strength towards the end, adding muscle to the emotion of the song.
While I’m not sure if I’ll ever know what happened to 231 or where the band members are now (and having a band name like 231 doesn’t really make them easy to Google search), I thankfully held onto a couple of their mp3s, so I can still share gems like “Turn and Walk Away” with you here!