Saturday, October 9, 2010

90's Mixtape #4: Bands that got big

As many one hit wonders as there were in the 90s, there were plenty of bands that became huge, from genres that would normally not have gotten big. Imagine in 1990 seeing Green Day and thinking how huge they would become? It just boggles the mind. This selection is of bands that have become huge since then, maybe not to the level of being played on Nova, but to the level of being considered gods of their genres.

1. Ben Folds Five - One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces (3:54)

Ben Folds was the sound of university students of the 90s. This track, one of his heavier ones, was the opening track to the album that made him huge, the one that had that sobby song Brick on it.

2. Alice In Chains - We Die Young (2:32)

Nirvana was the biggest band in grunge, Pearl Jam possibly the second. And the third, without a doubt, was Alice in Chains. I still remember when the lead singer Layne Staley died in high school, most of my friends had to go home to mourn. It was a huge moment for us, as Alice in Chains was the working class rock music of our area.

3. At the Drive-In - Metronome Arthritis (4:01)

Probably one of the best bands, ever. They had a massive hard working ethic, and apparently gave the most legendary on-stage performances. This was a track that was recorded just before the sessions that gave them their critically acclaimed, and unfortunately last, album Relationship of Command. Before this song they were scrappyish post-hardcore. After this track they defined a style. They then broke up to form the bands Sparta and the Mars Volta.

4. Deftones - Root (3:41)

This track is off of their first album, when they were a burgeoning hardcore band. Still one of my favourite albums, I play this on guitar almost every day. Eventually they calmed down into an electronic/ambient hardcore band that they are now. They’ve become their own genre.

5. Blur - M.O.R. (3:27)

Woohoo! These guys made Brit-rock famous. Unfortunately they wrote the bogan anthem Song 2, but the rest of the album was full of amazing British rock. The lead singer is now the Gorillaz, amongst other bands.

6. Bush - Bubbles (3:02)

Another British band, but more of a grunge one. They hit the time huge in America with a song called Glycerine, but this song is off of the Mallrats soundtrack. The lead singer ended up marrying Gwen Stefani of No Doubt, got happy, stopped writing good music and is now an actor.

7. Fugazi - Give Me The Cure (2:59)

Fugazi formed from the ashes of the short-lived hardcore band that invented straight edge (they even wrote the song that NOFX covers): Minor Threat. Although not the relentless hardcore of Minor Threat, they introduced indie and melody to create some quiet, yet still hard songs. They still kept the hardcore ethic though, every concert they play is all ages and cheap as chips. That’s the only way they’ll play. They are truly in it for the music, even after 30 odd years.

8. System Of A Down - Sugar (2:33)

You know System of a Down. Their first album though, especially this song, was at the forefront of my drug days in the 90s. The album, this song too, was basically about bad drug trips. This one is about mushroom men.

9. A.F.I. - Malleus Maleficarum (4:01)

I also hope you know A.F.I. Before they were glam-punk, they were a great west coast hardcore band. I wish I had known them during these days.

10. Nine Inch Nails - Big Man With A Gun (1:36)

Nine Inch Nails were so huge in the 90s (and so feared) that I remember my teenage books (Animorphs in particular) always had the loners, the losers, or the trouble makers listening to their music.

11. Modest Mouse - Doin' the Cockroach (4:18)

Modest Mouse in the 90’s were a balls to the wall noise-rock band with existential lyrics that either made you think or got you lost. But halfway through each song the lead singer Isaac would just lose it, and play as much noise while yelling as he wanted to, until he pulled it up slow. Not as good these days, but still an amazing indie band.

12. REFUSED - New Noise (5:09)

The single off their groundbreaking album, the Shape of Punk to Come. They actually showed us in this album the music scene 10 years on, and like any great band releasing an amazing album, they broke up immediately afterwards. Oh, and Swedish. You should listen to this whole album, it is just hardcore royalty.

13. Poison The Well - Artists Rendering of Me (3:20)

There was nothing like the hardcore of today before Poison the Well. And they are still going strong.

14. Beastie Boys - Sabotage (2:58)

Yeah, they mainly do hip-hop. And got huge off it. But this is a great little track with an awesome video clip.

15. Incubus - You Will Be A Hot Dancer (4:17)

Incubus are now a pretty boring indie band. But when they started, they mixed together funk and metal in a brand new way. Their bass player is one of the few reasons I ever bought a bass guitar.

16. Maxïmo Park - Graffiti (2:46)

Ask girls my age about this band. They love them and so do I. But for some reason, their cabaret style just gets the girls.

17. Spiderbait - Shazam! (2:03)

Australia’s favourite band, whenever the drummer was singing they produced much better and heavier songs like Shazam!

18. Beck - Sexx Laws (3:41)

Beck is just one of those artists that is around a lot, and has been for years. He’s put out weird electronic music, he’s put out acoustic music, he’s put out rock music. But the album I best remember him for is where this track came from, full on big-band trumpet style music. Probably not your taste, but it’s just fun with a bit of a risqué subject.


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