#387: Drummers Of The 90s Roundtable

June 12, 2018

Every decade of rock music and its various sub genre offshoots has produced oft-debated lists of notable drummers, and the 1990s is no exception. From the jazz-influenced speed of The Smashing Pumpkins Jimmy Chamberlain, to the technical progressive prowess of Dream Theater's Mike Portnoy, there is drummer for every style and flavor. Rather than discuss "the best," we're talking favorites, both well known and not-so-well known. Who gave us fills we still air drum to at our desks? Who pounded rhythms that make us shake our heads in awe? Whose beats influenced the next generation of drummers? From the groove metal of Pantera's Vinnie Paul to the skittish bounce of Dismemberment Plan's Joe Easley, we're scratching the surface and a bit more to get the conversation started on drummers of the 1990s.

Intro - Drum Medley (I Am One by The Smashing Pumpkins / Pacific 231 by Burning Airlines / Jesus Christ Pose by Soundgarden / The City by Dismemberment Plan)

8:04 - Rhinosaur by Soundgarden

18:34 - Would? by Alice In Chains

34:37 - Hello by Oasis

41:32 - Wiser Time by The Black Crowes

58:06 - Puppets by Hum

1:02:30 - Andalusia by Shiner

1:15:07 - Milwaukee Sky Rocket by Braid

Outro - Enjoy The Silence by Failure

 
 
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#386: Munki by Jesus And Mary Chain

June 1, 2018

By the time William and Jim Reid of the Jesus And Mary Chain put out the 1998 album Munki, the band had been through several iterations. From the noise drenched simplicity of Psychocandy to the pulsing beats of Automatic and the lazy strums of Stoned and Dethroned, the brothers had covered plenty of musical territory while still maintaining the attitude and sound unique to the band. In what would be their last release together until 2017's Damage And Joy, they manage to revisit nearly every phase of the band, and even explore some new ideas. But at seventeen songs and seventy minutes, the sheer length of the album, especially with some ill-advised forays into overlong noodling and keyboard driven tracks, left us wondering if the lack of an outside voice (i.e. a producer with a surname other than Reid) would have shaped a more concise, cohesive and ultimately satisfying listen.

Intro - I Love Rock'n'Roll

11:46 - Degenerate

16:14 - Moe Tucker

20:37 - Perfume

23:03 - Commercial

Outro - I Hate Rock'n'Roll

 
 
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#385: Psychohum by Falling Joys

May 29, 2018

Hailing from Canberra, Australia, the 1992 sophomore album Psychohum by the Falling Joys is what alternative or college or indie rock, however you want to classify it, looked to be heading pre-Nirvana and Pearl Jam. Eclectic and unpredictable, with guitar tones and vocals that easily slip between shoegaze, jangle pop, new wave and mainstream rock riffing, the Falling Joys sound like a band hitting their stride as songwriters and musicians. Led by vocalist/guitarist Suzie Biggie, who manages to invoke 79/80 Blondie one moment and Spooky era Lush the next, pulls off a wide array of styles with melodic cohesion. Paired with bassist and vocalist Pat Hayes on tunes like Incinerator, and Stuart Robinson's effected riffage on a song like God In A Dustbin, there is a lot to like about Psychohum. At the same time, that uninhibited approach can take a band down some lesser advised paths, with odd tangents into Chili Pepper funk and Sinatra swing. Which approach wins out? Tune in to hear our take on Psychohum.

Intro - Dynamite

10:16 - Black Bandages

15:05 - Incinerator

19:50 - A Winter's Tale

22:17 - Lullaby

24:36 - Fortune Teller

Outro - God In A Dustbin

 
 
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#384: This Will Be Laughing Week by Ultimate Fakebook

May 22, 2018

Our Patreon patron Brandon wanted to check out the 1999 (or 2000, if you bought the Sony rerelease) album This Will Be Laughing Week by Ultimate Fakebook. Through the magic of our Facebook page, we ended up connecting with lead singer and guitarist Bill McShane and drummer Eric Melin, and they ended up joining us as well. In addition, we gave away a pair of Sudio Regent headphones to one of our lucky Patreon patrons. It's a jam-packed episode! In addition to talking about the actual record, we also discuss what went on with the band signing to a major label at the end of the 1990s, touring, songwriting, band origins, vinyl reissues, Manhattan vs. Lawrence, new music and much more.

Special thanks to Sudio Sweden for providing our May giveaway. On episodes 381 and 382 we followed up on our previous Tre and Regent reports, if you like what you hear and want to grab a pair, use the code DIGMEOUT for 15% off your purchase during the month of May.

Intro - She Don't Even Know My Name
32:58 - Soaked In Cinnamon
59:46 - Real Drums
1:07:27 - Little Apple Girl
Outro - Tell Me What You Want

 
 
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#383: From The Choirgirl Hotel by Tori Amos

May 15, 2018

By 1998 Tori Amos was already established an artist who balanced both commercial success and critical praise. With her fourth album, From The Choirgirl Hotel, Amos dialed down the piano and dialed up the band, exploring a fuller sound that moved between electronic(a) beats, Beatle stomps and a slew of new sounds. In surrendering her confessional piano ballad comfort zone, a broader approach does reveal some cracks that left us scratching our heads both from a songwriting and production standpoint. Gone are the unmistakable hooks of "God" or "Crucify" while the vocals, now competing with a bigger sounds from the background players, get compressed and pushed up front to a dizzying degree. It's a frustrating episode for as much as we liked about the album, we found ourselves unable to connect with the material like expected.

Special thanks to Sudio Sweden for providing our May giveaway - a pair of Regent headphones. Join us at Patreon by May 15th to be eligible to win, winner announced on episode 384. We’re following up on our previous Tre and Regent reports, if you like what you hear and want to grab a pair, use the code DIGMEOUT for 15% off your purchase.

Intro - Spark

10:46 - Raspberry Swirl

14:33 - Cruel

19:11 - She's Your Cocaine

27:32 - Jackie's Strength

Outro - Iieee

 
 
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#382: U2 In The 90s Roundtable

May 8, 2018

Through the 1980s, U2 had gone from upstart punks to political firebrands to stadium superstars, reaching the critical crossroad of either delivering what people expected and remaining creatively stagnant or reinventing their sound and risk alienation. By all accounts, 1991's Achtung Baby managed to position the band as a force at the beginning of the decade creatively, commercially and critically. That comes with its own risk, as one reinvention begets another - as the earnest and sincerity of the past is replaced with irony and spectacle. With Zooropa and the Passengers project with Brian Eno, the band continued to evolve sonically, but the U2 of The Unforgettable Fire and War was essentially retired. Depending on who you talked to, the band reached their 90s apex or nadir on 1997's Pop, forcing the band to release their greatest hits collection shortly after, and then to dial back the disconnect and on 2000's All That You Can't Leave Behind. With our guests, we dig deep into the U2 of the 90s, and try to figure out what what right, went went wrong, and where it left the band at the start of the new millenia.

Special thanks to Sudio Sweden for providing our May giveaway - a pair of Regent headphones. Join us at Patreon by May 15th to be eligible to win, winner announced on episode 384. We’re following up on our previous Tre and Regent reports, if you like what you hear and want to grab a pair, use the code DIGMEOUT for 15% off your purchase.

Intro - Discothèque from Pop
25:17 - The Fly from Achtung Baby
30:37 - Mysterious Ways from Achtung Baby
40:28 - Numb from Zooropa
43:47 - Stay (Faraway, So Close!)
Outro - Staring At The Sun from Pop

 
 

 

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#381: The Proximity Effect by Nada Surf

May 1, 2018

Nada Surf scored a quirky one-hit wonder with "Popular," and as with most one-hit wonders, pressure from the record label to follow it up caused a divide. In this case, Nada Surf were dropped, record in hand, which they were able to release on their own label. While The Proximity Effect received some positive press upon release in 1998 (in the UK, 2000 in the US), it went mostly unnoticed. It wasn't until Let Go in 2002 that the band fully arrived, garnering rave reviews, following that up with Chris Walla-produced The Weight Is A Gift in 2005. Upon reflection, The Proximity Effect comes across as a transition album, with the band sound clearing, fuller and more confident, while not quite hitting the highs they would reach on their next two releases.

Special thanks to Sudio Sweden for providing our May giveaway - a pair of Regent headphones. Join us at Patreon by May 15th to be eligible to win, winner announced on episode 384. We’re following up on our previous Tre and Regent reports, if you like what you hear and want to grab a pair, use the code DIGMEOUT for 15% off your purchase.

Intro - Hyperspace

14:34 - Firecracker

21:23 - Dispossession

28:18 - Spooky

36:29 - Amateur

Outro - Robot

 
 
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#380: Shōso Strip by Ringo Sheena

April 24, 2018

While we have traveled, musically speaking, to Europe and Australia quite often, Japan has been a much rarer trip, and we've never revisited an album that wasn't primarily recorded in English. Until now. Thanks to a patron selection, we're checking out the 2000 album Shōso Strip by Ringo Sheena. It's hard to nail down the sound or style of Ringo Sheena on her second album, which bounces from electronic pop to metallic distortion to cabaret swing, all backed by a talented band and produced to the nth degree, using every studio trick in the book. For a pop record, there is almost no western comparison. The better comparisons are trailblazing iconoclasts Bjork or Tori Amos, but even that fails to truly capture the twisted and wild ride that is Shōso Strip.

Intro - I Am A Liar

7:30 - Instinct

14:47 - Excuse Debussy

25:37 - Sickbed Public

32:31 - A Broken Man and Midnight

38:27 - Stoicism

Outro - Bathroom

 
 
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#379: Sophomore Slump Revisited - The Chinese Album by Spacehog

April 17, 2018

Do you remember 1995? If you do, you probably remember "In The Meantime" by Spacehog off their debut album Resident Alien. The single went to number one on the US mainstream chart, number two on the US modern rock chart, and top fifty in about every country that had a radio station. The album went Gold in the US and Platinum in Canada, and the video was in constant rotation on MTV. So what happened with their second effort, 1998's The Chinese Album? We don't know because neither the album nor any single charted in the US. So it's time for a sophomore slump revisited, and decide once and for all if we need to revisit Mungo City, or leave it a ghost town.

Intro - Mungo City

15:45 - Goodbye Violent Race

18:15 - Captain Freeman

23:07 - Beautiful Girl

Outro - One Of These Days

 
 
 
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#378: Laid by James

April 10, 2018

By 1993, James were already established with a string of successful UK singles on their four previous album. But with the release of Laid, they managed to crack wide open United States college and mainstream radio playlists with the quirky and catchy title track. However, like so many albums released in the 90s, a hit single does not always represent the sound of the band overall. While James had their fair share of uptempo tunes, including the New Order-esque Say Something from the same album, with the help of our Patreon patron Patrick (of Three Bines Hopped Spirits) who picked the album, we discovered a moodier, more melancholy sound, driven by bass and atmospheric guitars. While some of that credit is probably due to legendary musician/producer Brian Eno, the band themselves unveil a unique combination of post-punk edge, folk storytelling, Madchester bounce and Brit-pop swagger. It all makes for a listen that bares repeated listens to discover the layers, which also reveal some deficiencies that grew over time.

Intro - Laid

13:23 - Say Something

16:51 - Out To Get You

27:27 - Five-O

Outro - Sometimes

 
 
 
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