Old Music Monthly #026: October 1995
Our pals Flaming Lips are on the cover. It’s almost like the magazine said, “They’ve peaked commercially, it’s cool to like them again.” Truthfully, Clouds Taste Metallic was due out in September, and if we assume this issue actually came out in August… Anyway, Warner Bros. expected this album to be huge, but it wasn’t. But I give Warner Bros. credit, they are still releasing Flaming Lips albums today.
I saw them at Lollapalooza 94, and in January 95 opening for Candlebox. Both times they played “Under Pressure”, and it was great. In January, I saw Ronald Jones (the dude way in the back) unloading some of his gear from a u-haul trailer while I was waiting in line to get in the venue. This is the last album he would play on.
Again, I’m including the entire letters page there is some significant hand-wringing about what constitutes punk. Remember when we didn’t have anything better to focus on?
In My Room
Pretty sure Garbage are just a flash in the pan.
Tours We’d Like To See
Best New Music
There’s nothing here I care about, so have a review for Dance Hall Crashers.
The reviews continue to be less and less, down to 40 (total) this time. Nothing of note in here, but read this Jawbreaker review and talk amongst yourselves.
Not much to say in the genres this time. I owned 7 of the Metal Top 25, one of them was Filter’s Short Bus, which I did not like. I did have one of the Dance Top 25 (Die Krupps, Rings of Steel).
I’ve not read Dishwasher, but the cover is great and the premise is one of those things that’s just so perfectly 90’s.
PJ Harvey is gone, and Primus has been replaced with your new Queen Björk. How many did you own?
Keith Morris of Circle Jerks walks us through Silverlake, CA.
I haven’t mentioned The Booklet yet. During this time, they have a little cut out book for the CD case if you want to stick it in a jewel. They didn’t have one at first, and eventually they will fade it out, but the booklet has blurbs and they aren’t usually entertaining, they’re pretty dry. But this blurb on Deftones has lived rent free in my head for decades.
The ads are really bland and super boring, but at least we have a new Puma ad to look at. Best one in the magazine by a mile.
Without further delay, the CD:
Buffalo Tom – Tangerine
Here we have a Boston 3 piece, named after Buffalo Springfield and the drummer’s first name. This is one of those ones where it’s not good enough to be exciting, but it’s also not bad enough to rant against. They started in 1987, and are still going for some reason. (-)
Eve’s Plum – Jesus Loves You (Not As Much As I Do)
Eve’s Plum appeared all the way back in #001 and #002 with the same track. Here is a track from their second and final album. It’s really good, has a good hook. Someone actually gifted this album to me about 4 years ago, but I still haven’t listened to it. (+)
Dance Hall Crashers – Enough
This California group was started in 1989 by former Operation Ivy members Tim Armstrong and Matt Freeman, but both members left the group before the first Dance Hall Crashers album to start Rancid.
This is ok, the lady vocalists harmonize very well, but as I say sometimes, I’m never going to seek this out.
The group never officially split, but after 2000 they didn’t release any new music, and they haven’t played a show since 2004. (-)
Garbage – Queer
You’ve heard Garbage, right? No? Do I have to do everything? Fine. Butch Vig and Duke Erikson had played in a few bands together (Spooner and Fire Town), but eventually drifted to production/sound engineer work. The duo had teamed up with sound engineer Steve Marker, and were doing some remix work for U2, Nine Inch Nails, and House of Pain. Often these remixes featured new instrumentation, and this led the three of them to decide to start a new band. The wanted to create an all male band with a woman singer in the mold of Blondie, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and the Pretenders, and Erikson had discovered Shirley Manson through CMJ alums Angelfish (#010).
“Vow” was released as a single in March, five months before Garbage was released, before the album was finished, actually. “Queer” was to be the next single, but the label put out “Only Happy When It Rains” instead, which was clearly the right move. That being said, “Queer” is a great dark song loaded with a menacing Manson delivery.
For the next two years, the band are unstoppable, but we’ll see them again in 1998. (+)
Seaweed – Start With
Tacoma, Washington’s Seaweed started in 1989 when all 5 members were still in high school, and they also released their first single that year. They continued releasing indie singles, before signing with Sub Pop, where they released 2 albums. Here, we catch with them on their third album on Hollywood Records, Spanaway.
I had heard them before, they had a cover of “Go Your Own Way” on the Clerks soundtrack. “Start With”, lyrically, could almost be about their relationship with Hollywood Records, with its dour detailing of getting screwed over because of money.
1995 was a good year for the band, “Start With” was a charting single (their only one), and they played Warped Tour (the only time). But, Hollywood Records dropped them, and they landed on Merge Records with their friends Superchunk. We’ll put a pin in this for now, as we’ll see them again in 1999. (+)
Deftones – 7 Words
Deftones started in Sacramento in 1988 when the members were still in high school. Guitarist Stephen Carpenter started playing guitar after he was skateboarding and was struck by a car. With the settlement and being stuck in a cast, he played along to his Anthrax and Metallica albums. Vocalist Chino Moreno had a love of hardcore and new wave, and brought that to the band. The band stabilized in 1993, and by 1995 was playing shows regularly. They ended up signed to Madonna’s Maverick label.
The first album is good, it’s straight up nu metal, though some people like to classify it as post-hardcore. Adrenaline is pretty by the numbers, but of course as the band continue they start stretching out and exploring their influences more.
We’ll see Deftones again in 1997. (+)
Tindersticks – Travelling Light
English band Asphalt Ribbons broke up in 1991, 5/6 of that band became 5/6 of Tindersticks in 1992. Seems weird to me. They released their first album, Tindersticks, in 1993. This track comes from their second album, Tindersticks, which they released in 1995.
This is totally not for me. The lady vocals are ok, but the guy sounds like the worst of Elton John, the late 90s stuff where he just says stuff in a shaky voice.
We will see Tindersticks again when their next album comes out in 1997. (-)
Mercury Rev – Young Man’s Stride
When you can’t have Flaming Lips, may as well have Mercury Rev. The two bands are tightly intertwined, (current) singer / guitarist Jonathan Donahue joined Lips and played on two albums (In a Priest Driven Ambulance and Hit To Death In the Future Head) before leaving over creative differences. Bassist Dave Fridmann has co-produced every Lips album since 1990, with the exception of Transmissions From the Satellite Heart.
The band formed in Buffalo in 1989 with the purpose of scoring student films made at the University of Buffalo. The group branched out and started playing psychedelic rock, and then morphed into indie rock. I like this one, I saved it back in the day but eventually lost it in a hard drive failure.
We’ll catch up with Mercury Rev when they release their next album in 1998. (+)
(The) Inbreds – Any Sense Of Time
Here we have an alt rock duo from tropical Kingston, Ontario. The duo was comprised of childhood friends Mike O’Neill (singer / bassist) and Dave Ullrich (drummer) who started a band while they were in college. They self-released a series of cassettes, which were pulled from for a 1993 compilation called Hilario. They released their actual debut album, Kombinator, on their own PF Records in 1994.
I remember for a brief moment we had satellite TV, and we had Much Music. They were interviewing the duo and they said that they were annoyed by guitar players approaching them after a show and trying to join the band.
Aside from one 3 song EP co-released with Atlantic Records, they never got ground up and spit out by a major label. Ullrich plays with the band Egger, and O’Neill is a solo artist and also was on the seventh season of Trailer Park Boys. The band ended in 1998, but reunited in a bunch of one offs in 2005, 2007, 2008, and 2012 (+)
This group is a Japanese / English trip-hop group Tushio Nakaniski and Howie B. When 1994’s #1 was released, it was pretty highly regarded. I’m not hearing this as trip-hop, this way more ambient, which isn’t my scene.
The group released a second album in 1998, but Howie B. left, and their label folded right after the release and the band crumbled with it. (-)
Jonatha Brooke & The Story – Nothing Sacred
Here’s Bostonian singer / songwriter Jonatha Brooke. First it was The Story, then Jonatha Brooke & The Story, then the Story can go to hell, because Brooke is going solo!
Here we have this rare instance of an artist before they sign with a major, but unfortunately we have a song that’s kind of the adult contemporary version of alternative rock. It’s not terrible, but it leaves little to recommend.
Brooke signed to MCA for her album Ten Cent Wings, and then was dropped and continued on independent. She’s still making music today. (-)
Shelter – Here We Go
I had this friend who was obsessed with the idea of Shelter and Krishnacore… despite not being religious in any way, and having never heard Shelter. Youth of Today vocalist Ray Cappo formed the group with former Youth of Today guitarist John Porcelly sometime around 1990 or 91, and focused on songs written with Hindu related messages. The play a bouncier type of hardcore that’s fun to listen to.
Sources aren’t terrible helpful, it seems they did break up and had some reunions, but it’s hard to nail down. They’ve also had at least 40 members, including Tom Capone (Quicksand, Handsome), Vic DiCara (Burn), Alex Garcia-Rivera (Piebald, Cold Cave), Roy Mayorga (Soulfly, Ministry), Aaron Rossi (Ministry, Prong), and Sammy Sigler (Youth of Today, CIV, Glassjaw, Rival Schools). (+)
Greta – About You
We talked about Great way back in #006. This is from their second and final album, This Is Greta! They did not earn their exclamation point. (-)
Dishwalla – Haze
“The band’s name comes from a Hindi term for a person providing satellite TV to a neighborhood.” Are you fucking kidding me? Jesus tap-dancing Christ, I hate this band. They are bullshit on the same level as Train. “Alternative” music for people who don’t give a fuck about music. “Hey, I’m going to hop in my used Geo Metro and go buy the new Dishwalla album and then hit up Olive Garden, wanna come with?” You probably know that “Counting Blue Cars” song, which has become a long running in joke with a good friend of mine. The singer during this era at least had the good sense to quit. (-)
Skunk Anansie– Selling Jesus
Ok, now here is something worth talking about. I am not well versed in this band, but they are are a mix of black and white, men and a woman, gay and straight. The band is so diverse so as to have a wide variety of viewpoints to pull from. Back then, I wanted to write lead vocalist Skin in on the US Presidential ballot because she was a black lesbian, and a polar opposite of everything that was running at the time.
Anyway, this song is just a blast of excitement, a protest song against religion and politics and just wee bit confrontational. Their first single was “Little Baby Swastikkka”, so confrontation is the name of their game.
The band lasted until 2001, and Skin went solo for a time, but the group reunited in 2008. (+)
Into Another – Mutate
This NYC post-hardcore / alt-metal group was formed in 1990 by Richie Birkenhead (Youth of Today), Drew Thomas (Bold), Tony Bono (Whiplash), and guitarist Peter Moses. They signed to Revelation Records, known for hardcore releases, and by their third album (1995’s Seemless) they had signed to Hollywood Records.
I guess maybe this is more alt-metal than post-hardcore. The bass is all over the place and the repeating guitar sound interesting, and the vocals are not what you might expect. I saw them open for White Zombie, with the Ramones, which I think was all 3 bands final tours. Into Another’s first show was actually opening for White Zombie when they were more art rock than groove metal, and still independent.
The band attempted to record a follow up, that Hollywood Records shelved, and the band dissolved in 1996. Bono died in 2002, but the band reunited in 2012 and released an EP in 2015. (+)
8 Storey Window – I Will
From the UK… apparently. There’s next to nothing out there about this trio (sometimes quartet). They released two EPs, then 1994’s self-titled record (where this comes from), and then they vanished into thin air. Some people call this post-grunge, but I think it’s too early for that. When I think of post-grunge I think of the dreck coming after Soundgarden’s (first) breakup, and vocals highly derivative of Eddie Vedder. Anyway, this is a pretty good track, I remembered that I liked it, but couldn’t remember anything but the ending. Watching the video is another checklist of 90s fashion that seems silly today. (+)
Boo Radleys – It’s Lulu
Here we have an alternative rock band from Wallasey, England. They are well known time travelers and this song details what happened when the went to the far flung future to listen to Metallica and Lou Reed’s Lulu. This comes from Wake Up!, the band’s first commercial success. I kind of like it, kind of don’t. The horns make it sound like it’s theme song a cheap syndicated sit-com about nosey neighbor Lulu, who know one really liked, yet everyone tolerates for no good reason.
The group split in 1999, but reunited in 2021. Second drummer Steve Hewitt played in Placebo from 1996-2007. Original guitarist Martin Carr did not join up with the reunion, and he is currently a solo artist. (+)
Paul Weller – You Do Something To Me
We checked in with Paul Weller back in #011. This song isn’t bad, but it’s not special, it’s just kind of “there”. (-)
Drugstore – Fader
This London group was formed in 1993 by Brazilian bassist / singer Isabel Monteiro and American drummer Mike Chylinski, they later recruited English guitarist Dave Hunter. They only played a handful of gigs before being signed and releasing their 1995 self-titled debut. The bass on this sounds cool, but the whole thing just seems incredibly derivative of the dream-pop scene, of which I am not a scholar, but it just seems like “If you like X, here is more of X!”
Anyway, the group toured non-stop for the next 3 years, and we’ll see them again in 1998 (-)
Welcome To Julian – Bob Your Head
There’s next to nothing about this group out there. Here’s what I can tell you: 1.) They’re French, and 2.) They still have a MySpace page, with 7 songs on it (including this one), 3 of which are demos. This comes from their final album, 1995’s Surfing On a T-Bone. This isn’t all bad, the vocals aren’t great, but the guitars make up for it, or nearly make up for it, I suppose. (+)
Turkish Delight – Spin
Closing up this session, we have Boston’s noise / experimental band Turkish Delight. I assume they broke up in 1998, but there’s not much out there on them, either. Their catalog was reissued in 2019, that I can tell you. The other thing I can tell you, is that this is a challenging listen, but it’s rewarding in the way that you never can really tell what the song will do next. (+)
Now It’s Time For Breakdown:
Worthy Tracks: (13/22); 59.09% this time around, the entire series is 63.02%
Maple Leaf Invasion: ZERO! But this one is 13.63% Boston-ian. The series to date is 2.52% Canadian.
YEEEEAAAHHH, Here Comes the Roster: Eve’s Plum cheated their way into the Two-Timers Club by having the same song on two consecutive discs, but now they are officially making a second appearance with a different song. October ’95 also brings Paul Weller and Great to the Two-Timers Club along with Satchel, Hum, Bracket, Guided By Voices, Chris Whitley, Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, Quicksand, Digable Planets, Adam Ant, Catherine, Ass Ponys, Magnapop, Cranes, Sarah McLachlan, Eve’s Plum, Therapy?, Jeff Buckley, Beastie Boys, Engines of Aggression, Luscious Jackson, G. Love & Special Sauce, and Green Apple Quick Step, Letters To Cleo, and Big Audio Dynamite. Catherine Wheel, 700 Miles, and Matthew Sweet are the Three-peaters. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones are the only group to appear four times. Over the 26 installments, there have 452 unique artists.