The Young Love Scene – Honey
Someone was asked what J. Mascis was really like. The musician in question began relating a story in which the Dinosaur Jr. frontperson, finding himself without a guitar, spent a few hours, while in the car driving to a venue, by singing guitar lines as if playing a long guitar solo. Of course, he does. That’s the least surprising story one might hear about J. Mascis.
The fact of the matter is that the past decades have produced an impressive amount of skilful guitar-driven shoegaze groups. The true eccentrics, however, are easy to spot. As great and inspired as the music of bands like Dinosaur Jr. happens to be, one can easily spot the reasons why this group continues to inspire cult devotion and not mainstream appeal.
There’s nothing ordinary about this kind of sound and, therefore, little to push into the direction of mainstream acceptance. This is one of the reasons why the heavily Mascis-inspired The Young Love Scene’s Honey sounds like an absolute gem of a tune. Guitar swirl like butterflies trapped inside a jar, while the vocals produce some of the prettiest melodies you’re likely to hear today. The Young Love Scene is a group that could inspire a devoted passion in you as well.
The Commonwealth – Afterglow
The Kings of Leon started off a dirty garage rock quartet banging out songs about girls, wreckless evenings, and crazy preachers. They recorded their best albums with not enough people paying attention. They recorded their most popular albums with everyone in the world paying and attention and, largely feeling disappointed. What would have happened had the Followils continued to record without much of a budget, and with a desire to create monumental Saturday evening dance stompers? This.
The fact of the matter is that insulting as it may not sound, KoL was billed as the “Southern-fried” version of the Strokes, a group that was also meant to be a rehash of the 1970s pre-punk sound developed by bands like the Velvet Underground. It was music for a sweaty Saturday night inside a club. It made it all the way to the stadium though and may have been robbed of some great tunes along the way.
Keep an open mind then and, if your rockin’ bones haven’t been tackled in quite the right way in a while, give The Commonwealth’s Afterglow a fair shot. Chances are that by the time you’ve finished listening to their passionate, melodic garage rock you’ll want to have a print of their touring schedule hanging up on your wall.