Tag: Alternative

1986, Music

Express (1986) by Love and Rockets

I spent way too much time in my review of Earth Sun Moon obsessing over how these guys weren’t Bauhaus. It’s a weird review that I find hard to read now. I wish I had focused on the music so I could try to compare the two records and understand why I appear to have …

1991, Music

Woodface (1991) by Crowded House

I can’t figure it out, but I know “Chocolate Cake,” “Fall At Your Feet” and “Weather With You.” I’m confused because I was 9 when this album came out and only “Chocolate Cake” reached the Canadian Top 10. Somebody must have had this album, or a greatest hits record or something, right? Anyway, it’s created …

1986, Music

Especially for You (1986) by The Smithereens

Like many people, I’m probably listening to this – and taking it seriously – in part because of Kurt Cobain. I did not enjoy Green Thoughts but it’s been long enough that I forgot about that, so I was able to approach this with fresh ears and be more charitable to it than I would …

2001, Music

Break the Cycle (2001) by Staind

So this is what happens when post grunge meets nu metal? Good, I needed to know. Really, I did. Imagine if you were a fan of post grunge and you were like “This just isn’t heavy enough some of the time (really, a tiny bit) and the way we should make it heavier is to …

1996, Music

Bringing Down the Horse (1996) by The Wallflowers

I think my brother had this album but I don’t think I ever made it far enough into his CD collection before I got to it. I had, um, zero interest. Once I was interested in the contemporary stuff he owned I certainly wasn’t interested in Dylan’s son. That single was everywhere. I must have …

1991, Music

Gish (1991) by Smashing Pumpkins

There are people, usually older people, who will tell you that Gish is actually the Pumpkins’ best album, or their only good album, or something like that. I suspect these people are either just old or they are being deliberately contrarian/curmudgeonish, or they are trying to be hipsters (“I liked the Pumpkins before they were …

1991, Music

Seamonsters (1991) by The Wedding Present

We all have musical sweet spots, things we like so much that we just eat up anything that fits into those sweet spots. This album, the first I have ever heard by The Wedding Present, hits me in a few of mine. And I left wondering, not for the first time, why it took me …

1996, Music

To the Faithful Departed (1996) by The Cranberries

I know this is not “the big one” but I was actually surprised how many of the singles from this record which I remembered, dare I say almost fondly. (I guess this means I’m getting old enough to just be happy to hear the music of my teens, even when I didn’t like it at …

2021, Music

Tonic Immobility (2021) by Tomahawk

I possibly anticipated this record too much, despite being sort of underwhelmed initially by Oddfellows. (And I’d say I’ve come to like it, as I did on my first listens, but I haven’t listened to it in forever.) There are things about this record that just aren’t completely working for me right now – it …

1991, Music

Doubt (1991) by Jesus Jones

Full disclosure: I don’t like the alternative dance subgenres (mostly British) which combine dance music and rock music. I don’t like them because I like rock music and I don’t like dance music. So the idea of adding dance beats to rock music doesn’t make much sense to me.

2000, Music

Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea (2000) by PJ Harvey

PJ Harvey is one of the great songwriters of her generation, and this album is another fine example of her abilities. but the record marks a bit of a change in aesthetic for her (as far as I know) that I don’t exactly love.

1990, Music

Nowhere (1990) by Ride

I’ve never gotten shoegaze, it’s just not anything that appeals to me on a fundamental level. Some of this comes from the nature of the genre – pop music drowning in distortion is still pop music – and part of it I’m pretty sure comes from not seeing it live at the time it was …

1985, Music

Flip Your Wig (1985) by Hüsker Dü

Time can really change perception, especially when it comes to cultural artifacts. I have read online abbout how this is one of Hüsker’s great albums, perhaps even their best. But I don’t hear it. I don’t know if that’s because I haven’t sat down and listened to New Day Rising recently or whether it’s because …

1995, Music

Garbage (1995)

As I have said way too many times, I do not like post grunge. Usually, post grunge takes something I like and basically ruins it. However, Garbage avoid many of the most irritating aspects of post grunge, if you can even classify Garbage as post grunge. (In fact, that false categorization may explain why I …

1995, Music

Ben Folds Five (1995)

At some point during the last 30 or so years before this album’s release, the piano stopped being a rock instrument. That’s particularly weird given its primary in the creation of rock and roll, as it was piano and saxophone, before electric guitar, that helped create what became rock and roll (in part because they …

1990, Music

Facelift (1990) by Alice In Chains

Alice in Chains are, to me, the least immediately appealing of the big Seattle grunge bands. I think that’s because they have the least catchy songs – though Cantrell is a good songwriter he is not necessarily a writer of particularly catchy songs. Though I do wonder how much of my experience of this band …

1985, Music

The Head on the Door (1985) by The Cure

My general appreciation of The Cure keeps running into problems. The problem is that I had their singles collections for years and listened to them fairly regularly but didn’t get around to their albums until recently. And now I listen to them haphazardly: one from the early ’80s here, one from the mid ’80s there, …

2000, Music

Parachutes (2000) by Coldplay

Imagine early Radiohead with none of the energy or edge (i.e. none of the alternative/grunge influences) and none of the aritness or idiosyncrasy, and imagine them playing mostly ballads (and the up-tempo songs are so soft they sound like ballads) and I guess you get some idea of what Coldplay sound like on their first …

1995, Music

Lost Somewhere Between the Earth and My Home (1995) by The Geraldine Fibbers

YES Where has this band been all my life? I read about them ages ago and I just took my sweet time getting to them. And for that, I’m sorry.

1995, Music

…And the Circus Leaves Town (1995) by Kyuss

I really like this band and I really like this sound. In fact, you might say I’m a sucker for bands who play music like this, no matter when. (I remember getting excited about Black Mountain even though they were not doing anything new.) But this is probably the weakest Kyuss album I’ve heard for …

1990, Music

Goo (1990) by Sonic Youth

Sometime between their earliest albums and Daydream Nation Sonic Youth learned how to write melodies and, as importantly, learned how to swing. (Obviously this happened gradually.) And that development is perhaps nowhere more apparent than on Goo, their most accessible album to date.Sure, calling a Sonic Youth album ‘accessible’ is a relative thing, but it’s …