Happy Thursday readers! Today we have a rock band that has been around since 1985. They were on hiatus from 1997-2005 due to some issues between lead singer J Mascis and bass player Lou Barlow (mostly caused by Mascis’ controlling nature on the band’s instrumentation). They used to be signed to the major label Sire Records during the nineties when they were quite influential on the alternative rock music scene. However, after the hiatus they signed to the label Jagjaguwar and have released three albums since then. There have been many changes to the line-up over the years, but don’t worry as the band currently consists of all three original members!
They have certainly shifted from a hardcore punk style to rock since the 80’s, but they kept their noisy, high-gain guitars. My favourite song off this album is “Don’t Pretend You Didn’t Know” and if you like jamming, I highly recommend learning how to play this song. It only involves a couple chords and a capo, but your friends will definitely thank you when they get to crank that distortion up and improvise some solos overtop of this fast paced strum pattern. I particularly enjoy the ending of the song when the catchy piano rift joins the ensemble, as well as that 2-3 minute guitar solo, which hits the right slides at the right times. Have a listen below.
The rest of the album is worth checking out, but I did not find it quite as enjoyable/catchy as the song I mentioned above. Each song does include a sweet guitar solo though, my favourites being “Watch The Corners”, “Almost Fare”, and “What Was That”.
Since this band isn’t super-indie, I felt like writing about an extra band this week. So next up is Noah and the Whale!
This group of wonderful musicians started in London, England back in 2006. I was first introduced to this band with the song “Two Atoms In A Molecule”from their debut album, Peaceful, The World Lays Me Down. I knew I would enjoy this song even before hearing it, being a Chemist and all. The lead singer Charlie Fink caught my attention with his unique voice as well as their instrumentation, namely the flute, the violin, and their use of whistling as an instrument (not like Flo Rida’s “Whistle” – which I’m quite certain is the tune of Green Day’s “When I Come Around”, right?).
Moving onward, my song of choice is “Still After All These Years”,with its soft-rock guitar solo which reminds me of a classic Fastball tune. I advise looking it up! I would normally include the video, but I felt like posting “There Will Come A Time” instead because the music video is a trailer to the band’s 30-minute film about growing into adolescence. The story follows four teenagers spending their last night together on Teenland (the island where all children are sent until they reach adolescence because teenagers are detrimental to society of course!).I haven’t found a copy of the film myself, but I’m sure it’s out there.
Lastly, the title track “Heart Of Nowhere” really got me into the album as a whole. The main rift is being played simultaneously by a violin and guitar. It creates a very pleasant sound.
Thanks for waiting an extra week for this post. Whether you are sitting back relaxing to Noah and the Whale or rocking out to some Dinosaur Jr., these bands will fill that silence in your day. Another successful therapeutic session, see you next week!
– Karly D