This edition’s spotlight is on some groups that were pivotal during the early 90’s grunge movement. However, I am going to focus on some of their work that was released post 2000. Yes, “Possum Kingdom,” “Far Behind,” and “Violet” will always go down as some of their most influential works, but they also produced some noteworthy tracks on their newer releases.
Toadies is a group that is mainly known for their efforts from their album Rubberneck. Not too many people besides their hardcore fans would be able to name very many of their songs besides the ones on that album. They produced some all-around good, gritty alternative. They hail from Texas and a southern feel is evident in their work. The track I’ve posted is “So Long Lovely Eyes” , which is off of their 2008 release No Deliverance, made a mere 14 years after Rubberneck came out. It’s a fun, fast-paced song that features plenty of grungey guitar riffs. Frontman Todd Lewis delivers a fine vocal performance. The energy and angst in his voice gives off the impression that he’s ready to kick somebody’s ass at any moment. The highlight for me is when the pitch change @2:38 that just follows a killer and under-appreciated bass solo (is there any other kind?!). The guitar takes the song in a different direction but it then it comes back to the original tone for the final chorus. Great song to get pumped up to.
Next up is Candlebox. I’m almost certain that anyone born before 1989 has some memory of heartbreak that “Far Behind” best encompasses. Anytime they hear it, they remember that lonely summer night they were sitting up against their cavalier parked in a gas station pissed off after they just had gotten dumped…and that song came on. Anyway, their 2008 album Into the Sun has some quality offerings, most notably “Stand.” The song starts off eerily similar to the way that “You” did back in ’93. It goes in a different direction after that. The song features excellent guitar and exceptional vocals by Kevin Martin. It also features a high dose of the f-bomb, which fans of Candlebox have come to expect. Take a trip back to the 90’s with “Stand”
A lot of people don’t know this, but HOLE IS BACK! Well, they were back in 2010 anyway. Darling little Courtney Love, while having some highly questionable viewpoints, sure knows how to keep putting out that vintage grunge sound. “Skinny Little Bitch” received some radio play when their newest album first came out, but I was never too crazy about that song. I much preferred “Pacific Coast Highway,” which is more of a mid-tempo ballad. “Malibu” was always one of my favorite songs by them and this reminds me of that one. It’s a downer for sure, but not every song has to carry a positive message. In fact, I’ve found that downer lyrics can actually have a calming and relaxing feel to them, which is quite contrary to the message that they carry.They are well-written and heartfelt for sure. See what you think, I’ve always liked this song and didn’t think it got the airplay it deserved.