Sailor June – After Image
The term “grunge” may have raised the ire of Cobain, Cornell, or Cantrell whenever uttered. But, like it or not, it’s the easiest way to describe the style of rock that came to prominence during the early 90s. A potent mixture of sludgy riffs, punk attitude and distorted vocals, grunge is a tremendously elastic style of music.
Now, for a style that was in the public eye for a short time, grunge too has its eras. The original groups played fast, sludgy and relentlessly. See the Melvins. The bands that made it big post-Nirvana, like Hole, always sounded like they were preparing to play the final song of the night, winding the audience up before pummeling them over the head with Boss-pedal-powered distortion. There’s also post-grunge, of course, a more commercial brethren to the Nevermind-era, and modern grunge as well.
Sailor June’s After Image sounds like a band taking the stage for an encore. The song plays heavily on the dynamics of which the original grunge groups were masters. It’s a “tension and release” game, and Sailor June delivers the rocking payoff. This is garage music for the big stages.
Tom Auton – 9 Til 9
The problem with rock critics, honesty is that they present opinions as if they were universal truths. It makes for a separate kind of musical niche altogether, the critically approved category.
Yes, history tends to vindicate the critics’ opinions. There’s no real reevaluation of Styx or Vanilla Ice being done. But, just the same. Do they have to be so snarky and arrogant all the time? I should know.
Music journalists may be on to something, but there’s a way they can be used as coaches or motivational speakers. There’s usually a would-be great album hiding in the notes made by such a writer, just like there’s a great novel hiding in the desk drawer of an English teacher. They exist as an idea but never get completed.
Tom Auton has suffered the ire of rock critics and has taken it to heart. The single 9 Til 9 is a description of Auton’s attempts at fixing a song to suit feedback. In the end, the Royal Blood-like riffs and bluesy groove sound like the artist having found the formula to free him finally. Good for him! Don’t listen too much to rock critics, or you might end up looking like them.