Wednesday, March 19, 2008

90's Indie Rock Nostalgia

I traded in a bunch of stuff I’d reviewed yesterday and got three classic 90s indie albums.

Promise Ring “30 Degrees Everywhere” Jade Tree, 1996

I originally had this on vinyl, but picked the CD up for five bucks. I recently heard “Everywhere In Denver” on my Husker Du Pandora station (and Pandora is awesome, by the way). The Promise Ring were one of the first emo bands to really take the genre into it’s current wimpy and whiney manifestation. They were formed in the ashes of pretentious punk band Cap’n Jazz, and combined journal writing, design, passionate yet out of tune singing, and a lot of chord changes and unusual song structures to create indie pop that was poetic and bland as hell. Sample lyric: "If I put my hands to your stomach, or put my lips to your hand. Birmingham has gone to motors. Take me home, keep your eyes on the road [..] I’m convinced you’re from mars.” High school poetry run amok. I still love "Everywhere in Denver", but the rest of the album makes me kind of angry. Not worth the price of admission.

Sebadoh “Bubble and Scrape” Sub Pop, 1993

This is where Sebadoh stopped being a noise band and started writing sublime pop songs. My favorites are “Soul and Fire” and “Sister.” I originally had this as a cassette dub of my friend Jaime’s copy. This totally reminds me of Sacramento in the summer. Good times. Sebadoh’s next album after this, 1994’s "Bakesale", is one of my favorite album’s ever.

Superchunk “Foolish,” Merge, 1994

I never heard this until now. I got into Superchunk in the late 90s, after hearing fIREHOSE cover their song “Slack Motherfucker.” Their 1992 album “No Pocky for Kitty” is one of my favorite melodic indie/punk albums ever, right up there with Jawbreaker’s “24 Hour Revenge Therapy” and Sebadoh’s aforementioned “Bakesale.” “Foolish” is a breakup album, and as such is kind of a downer. I’m 5 songs into my first listen, and it’s not rocking my world. Maybe with repeated listens.

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