Tag: Indie Rock

1993, Music

Perfect Teeth (1993) by Unrest

Imagine if Television were really an indie pop band with an occasional female lead singer and maybe you get some idea of what Unrest sound like on this record. Not really, actually, as that’s a pretty poor comparison for many of the songs here, but it’s the best I can do at the moment.

1993, Music

Exile in Guyville (1993) by Liz Phair

Many years ago, after hearing way too many times that Exile in Guyville is a song-by-song response to Exile on Main St. I listened to this right around the time I was obsessed with that Stones album. I listened to this once, didn’t hear a song-by-song response, and decided it was one of the most …

1993, Music

Today’s Active Lifestyles (1993) by Polvo

Imagine if Sonic Youth played Pavement-style indie rock (albeit longer songs), but more of a post-hardcore version of Pavement without their idiosyncrasies, you may get some vague idea of what Polvo sounds like. RYM lists them as a Math Rock band and frankly that mystifies me, even in the context of the early 1990s, but …

1988, Music

Viva Hate (1988) by Morrissey

One of my reasons for my antipathy towards Morrissey (and the Smiths) is the music, and I must say the music here is much artier and weirder than I was expecting. (I think we can thank Vini Reilly for that. He’s a musically interesting guy in ways that Street and Morrissey normally are not.)

1993, Music

Fuzzy (1993) by Grant Lee Buffalo

I decided to talk about this record, rather than any number of other records from 1988 and 1993, in part because Michael Stipe once claimed it was the best album of 1993. Now, I don’t necessarily share musical states with the lead singer of REM, but I do feel like he had an important role, …

1993, Music

On the Mouth (1993) by Superchunk

By reputation, I always thought No Pocky for Kitty was the Superchunk album to listen to. Then I listened to it and, though I appreciated why people like it, I didn’t love. I see the RYM rating is higher for this one. I think I know why. I mean, maybe I know why.

2018, Music

Black Inscription (2018) by Rabbit Rabbit

One of the things I love about this band is that I never know what their next record is going to sound like. They normally release one track a month but I always wait until the full album comes out, making the whole thing more of a surprise.

1997, Music

When I Was Born for the 7th Time (1997) by Cornershop

I really appreciate the genre-bending of this record. Even though mixing Indian music with western popular music was a thing a full thirty years before this record came out, it feels like that part of psychedelia was the least popular (or accessible) to all the bands that were influenced by the genre. For the most …

1992, Music

Down Colorful Hill (1992) by Red House Painters

I do not know the history of slowcore, as I am only familiar with a few bands (5 or so tops) that would be considered slowcore and who existed in 1992. So I find myself unable to assess whether or not this is an important record in the development of the genre, given that lack …

1987, Music

Strangeways, Here We Come

To say I dislike The Smiths would be an understatement. I don’t hate them so much as I hate the aura around them and this idea that they somehow saved British music from itself (and synthesizers! don’t forget the synthesizers), almost like a younger, hipper Bruce Springsteen (because Springsteen saved rock music from disco, don’t …

1997, 2017

OK Computer OKNOTOK 1997 – 2017 by Radiohead

I don’t normally review reissue editions of albums, whether or not I like them. And I wouldn’t review this either only I am going to record a podcast episode about OK Computer shortly and I was advised to listen to the rarities disk. So here goes…

1997, Music

Dig Me Out (1997) by Sleater-Kinney

The songwriting has improved here – the arrangements feel tighter and the hooks areĀ  arguably stronger. This is only the second record of theirs I’ve heard, so I’m not sure I can argue that it is their best (I believe it has that reputation) but if you are looking for 90s punk that still feels …

1997, Music

Brigthen the Corners (1997) by Pavement

A kinder, gentler Pavement. With hindsight I think we can say this is the first record where it really sounds like Malkmus is writing songs for himself, rather than the band. I’m not sure that’s fair, but I sure feel like this has more in common with his solo career than with Slanted and Enchanted. …

1991, Music

No Pocky for Kitty (1991) by Superchunk

This is a set of solid songs that are uptempo and pleasantly loud. I get why this band was a big deal back then because, to my knowledge, this kind of straight-ahead abrasive power pop/pop punk was a relative rarity. But it’s not really my thing. It’s too one note for me, as much as …

1996, Movies

What Would The Community Think? (1996) by Cat Power

This is a solid collection of rootsy indie music. Her songs are strong and the arrangements are idiosyncratic, albeit not anywhere near as idiosyncratic as was becoming common in the indie world. I have always thought I should get into Cat Power but, though I like this record, I find it kind of innocuous. It’s …

1991, Music

Trompe Le Monde (1991) by Pixies

With hindsight this feels like a step between the earlier Pixies records and Frank Black’s solo career, which would make sense. To me, though, it suffers in that sense, lacking the strongest songs of either earlier Pixies records or Black’s early solo albums, but produced almost if it was one of his solo records. That’s …

1991, Music

Sebadoh III (1991)

Without having heard the two previous albums, and not being familiar enough with the evolution of home recordings in the ’80s, I still feel confident in saying that I think this album is a pretty big deal; it’s influence on 90s indie rock, indie folk and the lo-fi movement in general is rather immense. Along …

1996, Music

Reject All American (1996) by Bikini Kill

This record starts off as serious Riot Girrrrl (angrier than any I’ve heard before) but then takes a weird detour into Tsunami-style slowcore (albeit played a lot faster…). It’s an odd combination that somehow works in spite of the rather radical changes in tone and energy. The songs aren’t as good as Sleater-Kinney’s, but there’s …

1996, Music

Bob Mould aka Hubcap (1996)

This is a reasonably strong set of songs by Mould, occasionally supported by the kind of attitude towards noise that Husker Du used so well at their peak. But the the diversity that made Husker Du great isn’t really present, nor is the contrast between their two songwriters. It’s like listening to half the band, …

2016, Music

A Moon Shaped Pool (2016) by Radiohead

This is the most orchestrated album Radiohead has made since Amnesiac – and it’s considerably more orchestrated than that. The near-omnipresent orchestrations – with strings often scored to sound like other instruments – makes this record sound new and different (more often than not) compared to their last effort. The songs are still very much …

1996, Music

On Avery Island (1996) by Neutral Milk Hotel

This feels like the inevitable result of trying to make folk music in the age of indie rock and, specifically, in the age of Pavement (and their related bands). So much of what they do here has become canonical or cliche (depending on your point of view) for the numerous indie folk bands that have …