Rufus and Scott Review 90’s Indie Rock They’ve Never Heard!
Rufus: When does the rock come in?
Rufus: Is this indie rock?
Scott: This is a tough one. Maybe it’s better if you are friends with the guy. Because then you can be polite and tell him how much you liked it.
Receiver – “…And Then You Die” (Swarf Finger – 1996)
Rufus: This is good for a Hawaiian mime montage.
Scott: The production is great. The 45 sounds amazing. I think this is actually classified as “electronica”. Nice bottom end.
Reservoir – “American Tune” (Zero Hour – 1997)
Scott: This is a Paul Simon cover. A really bad Paul Simon cover.
Rufus: There’s nothing that needs to be said about this.
Scott: Yeah, I think we should move on. Let’s tiptoe out of this guy’s bedroom very, very quietly…
Reid – “500 Fingers On Elbow Placement” (Frog – 1995)
Scott: These dudes are from Scotland. Boring, boring Scotland…
Rufus: You would think the guitar would make up for the singing…
Scott: These guys were Slint fans. They should have kept that to themselves.
Ectogram – “Cennin” (Ankst – 1995)
Rufus: Maybe a guy back in the 90’s could have danced to this. Couldn’t you see a guy back in the 90’s dancing to this?
Scott: Cool guitar solo! The woman singing sounds like the woman who sings about panda bears in that group Deerhoof. If the whole song had been as good as the guitar solo, we would have been cooking with gas.
Rufus: It’s a toe tapper.
Füxa – “Pivot” (Mind Expansion – 1996)
Scott: Fooooksa. Fooksa.
Rufus: Fyooksa, actually.
Scott: This is snappy! I’m nodding my head. That’s a good sign.
Rufus: This is my favorite so far.
Scott: Not much is actually happening, but that’s okay.
MJ 12 – “Lost & Found” (Quiddity Records – 1997)
Scott: I feel cranky. I keep hearing other people and sometimes that makes me cranky. Sometimes that doesn’t bother me and sometimes it does. It’s bothering me now. It’s like the Slint fan band. This one is too enamored with Galaxie 500. But, yeah, plenty dreamy.
Delphium – “Amplifier (Amplified)” (Aquese Recordings – 1997)
Scott: This starts with some weird locked-groove thing. Delphium better not mess with my needle. Okay, there we go. It’s building slowly…This is actually one of my favorite techniques. The repetition that builds a house one weird brick at a time. Now things are fading out…I’m intrigued!
Rufus: Whoops…there goes another element. This must be a more subtle amplifier.
Scott: I want to hear the other side! Two thumbs up.
Furry Things – “Still California” (Trance Syndicate – 1995)
Scott: This is, like, our first official “indie rock” song so far! Like, in the classic sense.
Rufus: It’s not that I don’t like the other stuff, but it’s nice to listen to some classic rock guitars right now.
Scott: I hear you, buddy. Nice little slab of grunge right there.
Rufus: It’s the perfect song to clap to at a concert!
The Freed Unit – “Getting Used To Not Fitting In” (Sorted Records – 1997)
Scott: Yikes! It’s like being hit in the face with a nerd when you put the needle on the record! In a good way.
Rufus: No wonder they don’t fit in. (In a good way.)
Scott: This song is kind of awesome. I like when nerds are benevolent and don’t seem to hate me. I’m afraid of their ray guns, so it’s cool to hear people comfortable with their outsiderness. I was always afraid that groups like The Residents or The Mothers of Invention secretly wanted to drop a bomb on the world. Or, maybe not so secretly. Who am I kidding, I love angry nerds too. And, in all honesty, they probably should drop a bomb on the world.
Rufus: Cool. Nerds are cool.
Scott: These guys should have been huge.
The Spiny Anteaters – “Mr. Sun” (Speed Kills – 1997)
Scott: That chiming guitar intro thing should have been copyrighted by Sonic Youth. But I think they might have stolen it from the Soul Survivors anyway. This is some serious INDIE music. Wait, it’s over already?
Rufus: For me, there is nothing to be said. Nice indie guitar, though.
Scott: Being lazy was a big thing in the 90’s.
Bugskull – “All Members Please Rise” (Dalmatian – 1993)
Scott: More slowness…
Rufus: Cool background vocals…
Scott: Kinda wish it were weirder though. Or, creepier. But that’s just me. The indie rock drummer in the background is reminding me of normalness.
Rufus: Nice toddler background vocals. Don’t underestimate the power of background vocals!
Bis – “School Disco” (Chemikal Underground – 1995)
Scott: Okay, yeah, I remember these guys. They were peppy. This is peppy. I think they were always peppy.
Rufus: I’m enjoying peppy 90’s indie disco.
Scott: Yeah, they were fun enough. If a little self-consciously so. In my opinion. Sometimes peppy can seem forced. The production really stinks too. But at least they were awake!
Rufus: You sorta have to strain your eyes to see the disco.
Bushpilot – “Canine” (Frog – 1993)
Rufus: Punk indie rock?
Scott: They are Can fans! I love Can. Rufus, you gotta hear some Can. I will hook you up. They were the best. I love the 90’s band Th’ Faith Healers too. They did a similar thing. This is definitely more my speed. And it sounds great. See, I can hang with sound-alike sounds all day, if they are like this.
Rufus: Not to be too personal on a public (ish) blog, but I want to hear some Can.
Scott: Yeah, we will make that happen. This band is even aping a very early version of Can. A very specific homage.
Clear Spot – “Moonman Bop” (Duophonic – 1998)
Rufus: The intro is a slow descent into something really cool.
Scott: I totally agree. This rules. That bass is great. I could easily listen to a cd or two of this stuff. This has Can-like elements too. Which makes sense, because the Duophonic label is a Stereolab thing and Stereolab loved the krautrock. Man, Now, I gotta find you some old Stereolab to hear too. This also really makes me want to hear the b-side.
Rufus: That is a less normal (better) version of that Bugskull song.
Scott: It is 100% genuine fun. Plus, no slacker vocals is an added treat. Also, it goes without saying, you name your project after a great Captain Beefheart album, and you better bring the pudding to the table.