In this day and age, you can easily log on to your Compaq Presario and read about the infinitely influential musical era that was the 90’s grunge movement. In this article that is most likely being viewed on Wikipedia, you will read how transcendent this movement was and how it changed the course of rock music forever. You will undoubtedly read about bands such as Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, Foo Fighters, Green Day, and many, many more. If it’s a more astutely written article by someone who is looking to inform the reader beyond what is already known, the focus will be more along the lines of groups such as Sonic Youth, The Pixies, or Mudhoney. The videos I’ve posted for today will be for the bands that got off to a good start and put out some bitchin’ tunes, but never seemed to gain much notoriety and most people today wouldn’t know who they are.
“Jessie” appears to be a sad song about a boy and his dog. His exploits include, but are not limited to, losing him, leaving him out in the cold, and being emotionally neglectful in general. Paw, however, is able to take this depressing concept and turn it into a rather enjoyable track. It starts out raw but has a redeeming chorus that was a staple of being a quality grunge hit back then. Introducing some country elements (@1:52) was not. Along with the guitar, it is pulled off very well and does not take anything away from this stellar track.
Swervedriver-Girl on a Motorbike
Now for a group I’d bet the ranch on you never hearing of before (hate it when I find myself using idioms such as this. I mean, in what day and age did ranch owners recklessly use their family owned lots of land as wagers in their seemingly meaningless bets against one another? It seems a tad rash to me, but hey…I’ve never owned a ranch before. Perhaps the power that goes to one’s head after becoming the solitary proprietor of said ranch unleashes a cavalier side of them that was previously undiscovered and is just too much for any human man to keep in check). Back to the song…”Girl on a Motorbike” grabs you right from the git-go and takes you to downersville. The lyrics are slightly darker than Paw’s “Jessie” and the song’s more down-tempo as well. Despite all this grimness taking place, I think the song still has a rather pleasant flow to it. The guitar riffs are smooth and not overbearing. The verses are the best part of the while the chorus is serviceable. Adam Franklin is a talented vocalist and his efforts should not go unnoticed.
A little comic relief intermission for the post, a reminder of what we had to put up with before grunge’s arrival…
Pavement could probably have at least 5 songs that would fit the distinction of lost gems from the 90’s. The only song of theirs that I hear on the radio anymore is “Cut Your Hair.” It must be the shouting lyric of “NO BIG HAIR!” that has allowed to stand out amongst the rest. The song I’ve posted is “Frontwards”. The songs consists mostly of some of the best guitar riffs to come out of that era, and that’s saying something. It also contains classic Pavement lyrics that are funny and not to be taken seriously.