“Because it’s true. If you want to accomplish anything of value in this thing called life, you really do have to pay your dues before you pay the rent, even if you’re deep into your thirties before you realize what this actually means. That We Have Higher Obligations To The Cosmos Than Mere Survival – any cockroach can pull off survival. And if you don’t grasp this, don’t go calling yourself an artist. At least, I think that’s what’s going on here. Because the Pavement crowd were definitely artists, seeing the middle 1990s for the colossal screw-up they were – the demise of so-called grunge, the co-option of pretty much everything that had felt so fresh and necessary barely three years previous, the crooked rain falling in prolonged deluge, smelling of sewage and other assorted poisons … and yet, beauty to be found in strangest, least likely of places. And truth … even if you’re a Smashing Pumpkins or Stone Temple Pilot fan. Damn, I love this song. Forget everything else I just wrote. It just feels like smoking strong marijuana and drinking good beer. In the rain. Who needs more?” (Philip Random)
In which The Gun Club kick out the sort of murky, raw LOUD-quiet-LOUD that would have shifted bucketloads of units to the grunge crowd … if they’d only released Fire of Love (the album) ten years later than they did. Because in 1981, the world just wasn’t ready for the likes of For the Love of Ivey or any number of other dangerous gems. Not the mobbed up geniuses who programmed radio anyway, ran the major record labels, shifted the units. Which in the end has got to be a good thing – The Gun Club still sounding fresh, still beautiful in their ugliness, like Elvis from hell.
“I actually saw Pavement at their mid-90s peak, but for whatever reason, I wasn’t paying much attention. I guess I’d pretty much had it with so-called ROCK music at the time, for which I’d blame Grunge mostly, all that flannel and kerranging and ponderous sincerity. But jump ahead maybe five years to the end of the century and I guess I was finally ready for the beer-in-one-hand-joint-in-the-other shambolic genius of Stephen Malkmus and his crowd, everything crystallizing in the lead-off track from 1994’s Crooked Rain Crooked Rain – a full minute of sloppy mucking around, chasing first a groove, then a melody, before the song finally finds itself (and in fact, the melody’s a direct rip-off of an old Buddy Holly tune) but man does it click! But is it a Silent Kit or a Silent Kid? Or am I fool to even wonder?” (Philip Random)
“Dave Davies being an original Kink, Death of a Clown being a darned fine single that featured big in the British version of the Summer Of Love. But I wouldn’t really notice it until at least the mid 1990s, working through my personal grunge aftermath where I’d listen to pretty much anything that wasn’t heavy, angry and in need of a clean shirt. Clown first showed up on a mixtape care of former roommate Dale, who stuck it right next to some John Coltrane, as I recall. The mid-90s were like that.” (Philip Random)
“As I heard it put once, The Posies were the Seattle band of the early 90s that didn’t get mentioned much during all the grunge hype because they didn’t play to type, being more about big rich melodies and smart pop finesse than roaring chest rock. My friend Mike says they sound like the early 1970s Hollies taking on Led Zeppelin here. I’ll take his word for it. Epic and not unsweet.” (Philip Random)
Count the Ids among the very many solid outfits that got signed to record deals in the confusing wake of the grunge thing of the early 90s … but then not much happened. We only heard one album from them, and it was a good one, but for whatever reason, the world wasn’t up to taking notice. Maybe The Man wasn’t amused with their smartass point of view. “F*** the system, eat the machine, make them pay for my room and board.”