Tag: Alternative Rock

2000, Music

Razorblade Romance (2000) by HIM

To the extent the I know HIM I hate HIM. In 2011 I listened to Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights and Love Metal, panning both of them and giving the former a rare 3/10. (Music has to be bad for me to go that low.) The ensuing years seem to have mellowed me somewhat or …

1995, Music

The Great Annihilator (1995) by Swans

I am still far from a Swans expert – though I have seen them in concert! – but I feel compelled to echo the comments of others about how this record feels either like “more accessible Swans” or some kind of hybrid of their ’80s sound with a more traditional approach to songwriting (at least …

1995, Music

Throwing Muses: University (1995)

There is so much alternative rock. I guess is true of any genre that was counted among the most popular in the world at a given time, but it feels like this is especially true of alternative. It’s as if, after Nirvana and Pearl Jam and Soundgarden showed it was viable, every single alternative rock …

1995, Music

The Rapture (1995) by Siouxsie and the Banshees

This is my first ’90s Banshees album and I must say I was a little reticent to give it a listen, for two reasons. For one thing, though I feel like their ’80s records have dated rather well for ’80s music, I must say I was worried that this record would sound pretty damn ’80s. …

1990, Music

Flood (1990) by They Might Be Giants

I was pretty overwhelmed by Lincoln and not necessarily in a good way. I had heard so much about the band but didn’t really know anything. On Lincoln they came across to me as a sort of poor mans’ Camper Van Beethoven, which probably not fair for many reasons. But I feel very differently about …

1999, Music

Midnite Vultures (1999) by Beck

I really like Beck. You might say I love Beck, or at least Beck’s mainstream records from ’90s and early ’00s. (I have slowly become less of a fan, over the years.) And I’d like to think I also really enjoy listening to musicians I enjoy having a great time, though I don’t know if …

Uncategorized

There Is Nothing Left to Lose (1999) by Foo Fighters

I have written on many occasions that post-grunge is one of the few genres I hate as a whole genre, which is nothing I normally do. (I generally believe there are no “bad genres” but there are a few ’90s genres which make me want to reconsider that.) The Foo Fighters are more “rock” than …

1994, Music

Ruby Vroom (1994) by Soul Coughing

Beginning sometime in the mid to late ’80s, there was a curious trend in the UK where a bunch of white guys began to appropriate much of the music of hip hop to make music that was, mostly, decidedly not hip hop. This music has very little rap in it (sometimes absolutely none) and had …

1994, Music

Definitely Maybe (1994) by Oasis

Loud electric guitars had been missing from British radio for a long, long time by the early 1990s. With the exception of U2 and the Smiths and a few other bands, there hadn’t been much popular guitar-based music for much of the previous decade. And when guitar-based music appeared, it often had synthesizers, gated drums …

1999, Music

Californication (1999) by Red Hot Chili Peppers

“Scar Tissue” was everywhere in the summer of 1999. The radio was always on at my work and so the song was always on. I fell in love with a girl at my work who loved “Scar Tissue.” And so I found myself torn between my love for this girl, who would sing along to …

1999, Music

The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner (1999) by Ben Folds Five

For most of my adult life I’ve been only vaguely aware of Ben Folds and his band. I think he had a hit or two I heard of and many years ago I managed to listen to their reunion album but it apparently made no impression on me. Despite sort of bemoaning the death of …

1994, Music

Troublegum (1994) by Therapy?

When I first heard “Knives” I thought “YES!” and figured I had just found a new favourite band. But that track turns out to be the album’s most immediate track – it’s a smart thing to lead off with in some respects but a bad idea in others.

1999, Music

14:59 (1999) by Sugar Ray

I hated Sugar ray. I hate “Fly.” I hate “Every Morning.” I hate Mark McGrath’s flat singing and his fame-whoring. I hated their super poppy “fusion” thing which seemed like some weird kind of experiment of what would happen if a generic “alternative” pop rock band tried to incorporate hip hop like it was nu …

1998, Music

Supposed Form Infatuation Junkie (1998) by Alanis Morissette

My biggest problem with Jagged Little Pill is its faux grunge (what we would now call post grunge) production; there’s this veneer of trying to make Alanis fit in with alternative rock bands, but it’s clearly the work of someone who was never in an alternative rock band and is just trying to create a …

1998, Music

1965 (1998) by The Afghan Whigs

I did not particularly enjoy the critically acclaimed Gentlemen and I think so much of that has to do with when I heard it, in my late 30s. I suspect had I heard it when I was, say, 22, I might have really liked it a lot. It’s still a fine record but, as a …

1993, Music

Gentlemen (1993) by The Afghan Whigs

Expectations are a terrible thing. I had none the first time I listened to this record. But, not really getting how it had made it on to my list of major album anniversaries for October 1993, I looked it up and started reading all the praise out there. So by the second time I listened …

1988, Music

Ultramage OK (1988) by Soundgarden

Chris Cornell apparently didn’t like the production of their debut and I must say that, as someone who is really familiar with their ’90s efforts, this doesn’t sound like Soundgarden to me. Even Cornell himself doesn’t quite sound like himself. I’m not sure how much that can be blamed on the production, how much it …

1998, Music

El Oso (1998) by Soul Coughing

Members of Soul Coughing are quoted in The Secret History of Rock, the pre-internet guide to weird and rarely heard rock music which was my bible for a long time. I made it my mission to listen to all the bands that were featured in that book, but I also made it my mission to …

1998, Music

Is This Desire? (1998) by PJ Harvey

If you spend too much time reading music magazines – do people still do that? – or you spend too much time on the internet, it’s tempting to see Is This Desire? as the flip side of The Boatman’s Call, or a direct response to it or some combination of the two. The easiest thing …

1993, Music

Judgment Night Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (1993)

I know this record was a big deal to fans of these bands at the time, but I had literally no idea about it until an anniversary of it maybe 5 years ago. I had low expectations, despite how many of these rock bands I like.

1993, Music

Cure for Pain (1993) by Morphine

The thing that makes Morphine so unique is, in some ways, the thing that keeps them from ever being a band that I will truly love. That’s not their fault, of course, but it does make them one of those bands who I like more or less depending upon the quality of their songs.

1998, Music

Whitechocolatespaceegg (1998) by Liz Phair

Phair is a strong songwriter, she writes catchy songs with lyrics that are above average. (I often liken her to PJ Harvey at times, given both have a penchant for writing lyrics from the perspective of other people. Sure, many lyricists do that but they are explicit about it.)

1998, Music

Scraps at Midnight (1998) by Mark Lanegan

I got really annoyed with Lanegan’s Blues Funeral (which came out a while ago now) because of its title. I got annoyed because the title referenced the blues and the record didn’t much, as if I had some kind of deeper knowledge of the blues than Lanegan does. But I read a quote from him …

1998, Music

Stunt (1998) by Barenaked Ladies

You can count me among the many (millions?) of Canadians who were shocked by the success of this record in the USA when it came out. To me, Barenaked Ladies were a comedy novelty act who had some funny songs and videos, which I had mostly grown out of by the time this record came …