Tag: Alternative

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 …

1985, Music

Fear and Whiskey (1985) by Mekons

This record is credited by many as the birth of alt country. (Funnily enough, a record by an American band released exactly five years later is also credited as the birth of alt country…) I’m not sure that’s true for more than a few reasons, but it’s still a remarkably unique post punk record, especially …

1990, Music

The Good Son (1990) by Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds

I love Tender Prey. For me, it’s the culmination of the Seeds through their first era, a powerful combination of punk-influenced music and songwriting well beyond the quality of most punk albums.

1990, Music

Pills ‘n’ Thrills and Bellyaches (1990) by Happy Mondays

I’ve listened to a few madchester/baggy albums at this point and it’s safe to say that I just don’t get the genre. Now, I get very few dance-rock hybrids outside of Talking Heads’ version of that kind of thing, but this one I find particularly perplexing.

1985, Music

Up on the Sun (1985) by Meat Puppets

The more that I listen to the Meat Puppets the more it feels like they are one of the foundational bands of American alternative rock, setting the template for what was acceptable. When I was young and first encountering alternative, it felt like the diversity was baked in but original. The more I listen to …

1985, Music

Meat is Murder (1985) by The Smiths

One of two things is happening: either I am slowly – slowly – getting so inured to The Smiths that I no longer hate their guts – or I have listened to enough of the British music of the 1980s to finally understand why people thought they were such a big deal. I still don’t …

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

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 …

1990, Music

Reading, Writing and Arithmetic (1990) by The Sundays

Why do I know The Sundays’ biggest hit? I was 8 when it came out and absolutely not listening to contemporary radio. My only guess is that the video got played a lot on Canada’s music video channel when I was older. Because I’ve definitely heard this song, and I can’t come up with any …

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 …

1989, Music

Boomerang (1989) by The Creatures

Does the idea of a Siouxsie and the Banshees album with the music made up of almost entirely percussion sound appealing to you? Well, that’s probably the easiest way of explaining this Creatures record to someone who isn’t familiar with it (as I wasn’t). It’s got a similar vibe to their parent band except the …

1994, Music

No Need to Argue (1994) by The Cranberries

There are so many ’90s alternative albums which I thought I ignored when they came out but I must have heard at some point. Like so many of those, when I put this on, I thought I just knew the singles. And then I remembered other songs. And I was confused. I don’t ever specifically …

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 …

1984, Music

Double Nickels on the Dime (1984)

The Minutemen’s magnum opus is really a magnum opus, coming in at a fairly ridiculous 45 tracks in 81 minutes. (That runtime is longer than Zen Arcade by over 10 minutes…) The band basically admits they included virtually everything they had, dubbing the final side “Chaff”. This is supposed to be a record by a …