#360: KISS in the 90s Roundtable

December 5, 2017

We’re back with another “In The 90s” episode, this time tracking the chronology of rock legends KISS through the decade. After rising to fame in the 70s, the 80s were less kind to the band, who shed the makeup, band members and eventually albums sales through a turbulent time They entered the 90s on a positive note, with 1989′s Hot In The Shade scoring a hit with the power ballad “Forever,” but faced tragedy with the death of fan favorite drummer Eric Carr. While 1992′s Revenge initially sold well, it struggled to reach Gold and hte ensuing tour sputtered as the shifting musical landscape at the beginning of the decade pointed the band in a heavier direction foretold by the Revenge single “Unholy.” The eventual result would be 1997′s Carnival of Souls, with heavy nods to Alice In Chains and Soundgarden, but by the time of release it was an afterthought thanks to the 1995 MTV Unplugged performance that reunited the original line-up and stoked a short lived KISS revival in popular culture. The end result would be the 1998 album Psycho Circus, a reunion album in name only. It was a tumultuous ten years in which KISS would recapture their past at the cost of their future.

To help us break it all down, joining our roundtable is Julian Gill, the man behind KissFAQ.com, author of a number of books on the band and host of the KissFAQ podcastJoe Royland of Sit and Spin with Joe, and the Patreon patron who made this episode happen, Chris Martz.

Make sure to sign up at Patreon to hear bonus content from this and other episodes, as well as be eligible to win our 2017 4th Quarter Giveaway of the exclusive Newbury Comics limited edition white vinyl pressing of Sleater-Kinney’s 1997 album Dig Me Out and a copy of Tom Mullen’s new book Anthology of Emo Volume One.

Special thanks to Sudio Sweden (Facebook/Instagram), who hooked us up with two pairs of Tre earphones to test out. We’re reporting on them all month - if you like what you hear and want to grab a pair, use the code DIGMEOUT15 for 15% off your purchase.

Songs in this Episode

Intro - Psycho Circus (from Psycho Circus)

18:16 - Unholy (from Revenge)

21:37 - God Gave Rock ‘n Roll To You II (from Revenge)

27:13 - I Just Wanna (from Revenge)

51:16 - Master and Slave (from Carnival of Souls)

58:12 - Into The Void (from Psycho Circus)

1:04:10 - We Are One (from Psycho Circus)

Outro - I Walk Alone (from Carnival of Souls)

 
 
 
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#359: Interview with Rick Ruhl of Every Mother’s Nightmare

November 28, 2017

Rick Ruhl and Every Mother’s Nightmare are back with a new album, and he stops by to share their story. He takes his back to his formative years, his first concert (Alice Cooper!) and his earliest bands before forming EMN, who ended up signed by the legendary Clive Davis to Arista records after just thirteen gigs together. We dig into the awkward early 90s when bands with ballads and hair were lumped together regardless of their sound, and then written off collectively as grunge and alternative exploded. We discuss the Perris Records years, the various guest artists who appear on the new album, and a whole lot more.

Special thanks to Bill Chavis at HighVolMusic for helping put this together!

Songs in this Episode

Intro - Loco Crazy

1:46 - Loco Crazy

50:56 - Upper Hand

Outro - Blown Away

 
 
 
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#358: Gran Turismo by The Cardigans

November 21, 2017

On the follow-up to their breakthrough album, The Cardigans 1998 release Gran Turismo asks you to put on headphones and chill. Though known for their bouncy pop single Lovefool, words like moody and introspective better represent their overall sound. Taking cues from a wide range of musical styles and distilling them into a controlled and unique album that owes as much to 90s downtown electronica and trip-hop as well as metal and industrial music. Yes, we’re dead serious, there more on going here than you probably noticed at first glance, so allow us to indulge our digressions, then let us know if you agree or disagree on our take.

Songs in this Episode

Intro - Erase/Rewind

9:44 - My Favorite Game

18:22 - Paralyzed

21:27 - Do You Believe

32:43 - Your Love Alone Is Not Enough (Manic Street Preachers feat. Nina Persson)

Outro -  Explode

 
 
 
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#357: Sophomore Slump Revisited - Freak Show by Silverchair

November 14, 2017

On the follow-up to their teenage debut, Silverchair fattened the sound but not the sales, we try to figure out what happened. When 1995′s Frogstomp exploded, the kids from Australia were pegged as Nirvana wannabes with plenty of growing to do. The still managed to sell millions of albums and score a bunch of hit singles. The sophomore release Freakshow from 1997 actually fared better with critics, but the sales dipped considerably, both in the US and their native Australia. To help us determine if this is truly a sophomore slump, we’re joined by Jeff Takacs (Rocketfuel podcast), Joe Royland (Sit and Spin with Joe vidcast) and Steve Muczynski (Hollow Earth) to revisit the record with fresh ears.

Hear bonus content from the show over at Patreon.

Songs in this Episode:

Intro - Freak

14:31 - Slave

25:21 - Cemetery

47:56 - Roses

Outro - Abuse Me

 
 
 
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#356: Firecracker by Lisa Loeb

November 7, 2017

On her sophomore release Firecracker, Lisa Loeb mixes pop hooks and confessional ballads with mixed results. Known for the hit “Stay” from the Reality Bites soundtrack and the 1995 album Tails, her 1997 release under her own name has some made for radio pop singles as well as more intimate material. Sometimes the sparse approach works, adding flavor to the sound, and other times the musicians backing her leave us wondering who this album is for - pop listeners? Adult contemporary stations? Coffee house singer songwriters? Our confusion left us with mixed opinions - give a listen and share your thoughts if we got it right or wrong on Firecracker.

Songs in this Episode:

Intro - I Do

11:38 - Falling In Love

16:47 - Let’s Forget About It

18:50 - Firecracker

Outro - Truthfully

 
 
 
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#355: Re-Animation Festival by The Groovie Ghoulies

October 31, 2017

It’s Halloween, a perfect time thanks a requested review to revisit the the Groovie Ghoulies 1997 album Re-Animation Festival. With a mixture of early rock ‘n roll riffs courtesy Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly, mixed with Ramones energy and Monkees goofiness, all wrapped in a Misfits-style horror punk sound, the Ghoulies give us some good creeps on All Hallows Eve. The band hit their stride keeping it simple, and our complaints are few. We also wonder if the Ghoulies were ahead of their time and missed out on an opportunity to cross platforms and launch a Doc McStuffins/Jake and the Neverland Pirates kids show.

Songs in this Episode

Intro - Graveyard Girlfriend

8:46 - Zombie Crush

12:03 - Tunnel of Love

14:30 - Graceland

15:45 - If You Need Me

18:47 - Evading The Grays

Outro - Chupacabra

 
 
 
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#354: Woman’s Gotta Have It by Cornershop

October 24, 2017

Cornershop’s 1995 sophomore album Woman’s Gotta Have It gives a hint of the hit they would release two years later. The album shifts between rhythm driven “Hindi Pop” and jarring, dissonant indie guitar rock. While both have their merits, the melodies flow smoother on the former leaving the latter wanting. This album may have been out of step with the UK Battle of Britpop taking place between Blur and Oasis in 1995, but we contemplate if the sounds of Woman’s Gotta Have It would influence Damon Albarn’s songwriting on future Blur releases.

Bonus audio from this episode can be found at Patreon, including a mini-review and discussion on the Foo Fighters latest album Concrete and Gold.

Special thanks to Sudio Sweden (Facebook/Instagram), who hooked us up with two pairs of Regent headphonesto test out. We’re reporting on them all month - if you like what you hear and want to grab a pair, use the code DIGMEOUT15 for 15% off your purchase with free worldwide shipping.

Songs in this Episode:

Intro - Wog

8:48 - My Dancing Days Are Gone

12:09 - 6am Jullandar Shere

22:05 - Hong Kong Book of Fung Fu

Outro - Camp Orange

 
 
 
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#353: Forever And Counting by Hot Water Music

October 17, 2017

The second album from Hot Water Music gives us plenty to like, but much to scratch our heads at as well. Whether you call them punk, post-punk, post-hardcore or emo, HWM forge a unique path on 1997′s Forever and Counting, avoiding the rhythms and structures traditionally associated with punk rock. While we dug the diversity, the presentation left us wanting, as a dynamic-less mix and some questionable guitar and bass tones muddied the water. Give a listen and share your thoughts.

Special thanks to Sudio Sweden (Facebook/Instagram), who hooked us up with two pairs of Regent headphones to test out. We’re reporting on them all month - if you like what you hear and want to grab a pair, use the code DIGMEOUT15 for 15% off your purchase with free worldwide shipping.

Songs in this Episode:

Intro - Translocation

14:26 - Just Don’t Say You Lost It

18:36 - Manual

22:24 - Man The Change

33:45 - Three Summers Strong

Outro - Position

 
 
 
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#352: Digging Your Scene - Roundtable Discussion on Minneapolis-St. Paul in the 90s

October 10, 2017

We’re heading to the land of ten thousand lakes to uncover the Minneapolis St. Paul music scene of the 1990s. With names like The Replacements and Husker Du, the twin cities have been established as an 80s mecca for underground hardcore and punk rock, but the story of the city is much deeper and broader. In the 90s bands like Soul Asylum and Semisonic scored massive hits, while The Jayhawks, Low and the Dillinger Four expanded the sonic pallet. And of course, there’s Prince. To help us understand the roots of the punk and hardcore scene, we invited author/writer/KFAI DJ Cindy “Cyn” Collins, who recently released Complicated Fun: The Birth of Minneapolis Punk and Indie Rock, 1974-1984 to talk the early years and bands like The Suicide Commandos and The Suburbs. Returning is Michelle Leon, former Babes In Toyland bassist and author of I Live Inside: Memoirs of a Babe In Toyland to give us insights on the various famous (and infamous venues) and more, along with record producer, engineer, singer-songwriter and touring musician Jamie Woolford of The Stereo, Animal Chin and Let Go to share memories of various record stores, local media and other important aspects of the Minneapolis St. Paul scene.

Be sure to join us at Patreon for bonus content from this episode.

Special thanks to Sudio Sweden (Facebook/Instagram), who hooked us up with two pairs of Regent headphones to test out. We’re reporting on them all month - if you like what you hear and want to grab a pair, use the code DIGMEOUT15 for 15% off your purchase with free worldwide shipping.

Songs in this Episode:

Intro - Minneapolis by that dog.

8:54 - Attacking the Beat by The Suicide Commandos

33:28 - Dust Cake Boy by Babes in Toyland

39:03 - Walks Alone by Cows

Outro - She Would Hever by The Stereo

 
 
 
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#351: One Mississippi by Brendan Benson

October 3, 2017

With help from Jason Falkner of Jellyfish, Brendan Benson crafted a fine if overlong debut album in 1996′s One Mississippi. Some of us may have discovered Benson thanks to his team-up with Jack White in The Raconteurs, but he had a number of solo releases to his name by that point, and One Mississippi shows the promise of what was to come. Like so many 90s albums, the first half was satisfying while the back half became less focused and felt padded, but there is still plenty to like about this power pop debut, brought to us thanks to a twelve-month Patreon anniversary pick by past guest Keith S.

Special thanks to Sudio Sweden (Facebook/Instagram), who hooked us up with two pairs of Regent headphones to test out. We’re reporting on them all month - if you like what you hear and want to grab a pair, use the code DIGMEOUT15 for 15% off your purchase with free worldwide shipping.

Songs in this Episode:

Intro - I’m Blessed

13:31 - Emma J

18:40 - Got No Secrets

23:00 - Insects Rule

32:08 - House in Virginia

Outro - Crosseyed

 
 
 

 

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