Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The bands that should have been bigger (1)

The House of Love
by Ceri Ames
Forget the usual phrases that get mentioned in House of Love reviews and reminiscences, things like 'shimmering guitars' or 'hypnotic', which make them sound like part of the shoegazing 'scene', the House of Love were great because they married brilliant pop songs with Guy Chadwick's (genuine) air of worldweariness, lost love and hunger, miles beyond the sixth-form affectations of most of their peers.

Defining track: Christine (The House of Love, 1988)

by Mark Reed
Now that Rotten has reactivated the Sex Pistols as an old mans pension fund, PiL, who were undoubtedly superior to the Pistols in every way apart from the fact they didn't split up after one album, have been unjustly overlooked.

In some ways, the fact that Rotten sports a PiL shirt at almost every Pistols gig is his succint commentary on the fact that his best work has been forgotten. Between 78 and 92 the ever changing lineup (for whom Lydon was the only constant) evolved from an arty four piece that was the complete antithesis of the Pistols straightforward angry rock template to a more 'conventional' but equally weird rock band that managed to weld Lydons unique vocal and lyrical abilities with ex-Magazine/Siouxsie guitarists John McGeogh's clipped guitars.

Defining track: Public Image (First Issue, 1978)

Super Furry Animals
by Emma
I am pretty biased towards Welsh bands (mainly because of the fact I'm a Manics fan) however one of the most underrated bands in recent years are so Welsh that the majority of their songs are sung in their beautiful native tongue. Who could get away with song titles as endearing and inane as 'Herman Loves Pauline' and 'Ice Hockey Hair', write a song about a ginger child being shot at because he was mistaken for a fox, black chickens, or name their album 'beard' ('mwng', in Welsh)?

For me, Super Furry Animals unique charm lies in their ability to be musically completely mental and psychedelic but also fantastically listenable and sweet. Completely unpretentious and like no other group then or now. Look at their lyrics; ("Marie Curie was Polish born but French Bred. Ha! French Bread!", "Have you heard about the bat? Eats your goat and then your cat") and their excellent Pete Fowler drawn album artwork.

I remember spending hours looking through their sleeves, and even basing my GCSE art project on their single cover for 'Mountain People', which was basically a load of snaggle-toothed purple bearded people. Musically, I adore their unfeasible but effective combination of indie, brass and space-age electronica. They even take a little band on the road with them dressed in Pete Fowler style monster suits. That in itself is enough to make you love them.

Defining Track: Northern Lites (Guerilla, 1999)


asquith said...

Captain Beyond
Very early Deep Purple
Blind Willie Johnson & pretty much anything blues
Acid Bath
Dax Riggs should be topping the charts now if there were any justice & that

Am not very good at writing pretty explanations & that. But it is from the heart, like.

Helen Highwater said...

...and of course, Super Furry Animals - the only band to own their own tank! (at least, they did in 96. Maybe they've had to sell it).

Did Gorky's Zygotic Mynci support SFF on one of their tours? I had one of their singles - "If Fingers Were Xylophones".

Anita said...

Gorky's Zygotic Mynci!!!Now they should of been massive!!!