Alternative Rock

Music Pick of the Day – Catherine Wheel, Part 2

To follow up on my last Music Pick of the Day, I definitely think Adam and Eve is their greatest album but Catherine Wheel does have a large wealth of other great material. I want to share some of it with you.

Catherine Wheel – Happy DaysMusic Pick of the Day - Catherine Wheel, Part 2

God Inside My Head
Waydown
Little Muscle
Receive
Hole

(Click image for Amazon.com)

“Happy Days” was one of my favorite albums when I was 15. With this album Catherine Wheel shifted away from their shoegazer/dream pop sound and fully embraced grunge and brutally heavy metal, creating a cool contrast with a softer non-metal singer. I don’t listen to grunge metal so much anymore, but holy shit, the song “God Inside My Head” kicks ass! Play it load. Just play it real loud from the beginning. “Waydown” was a huge radio hit in ’95. “Little Muscle” is a fun song about your tongue.
Compare and contrast this with their next album Adam and Eve

[A LOT more music and videos after the break]
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Music Pick of the Day – Catherine Wheel

 
Catherine Wheel – Adam and Eve

Music Pick of the Day - Catherine Wheel

Future Boy
Phantom of the American Mother
Thunderbird
Here Comes The Fat Controller
Delicious

(Click image for Amazon.com)

This album changed me. It changed my taste in music.
I loved loved Catherine Wheel’s 1995 grunge heavy metal album “Happy Days” when I was 15. I listened to it all the time, turned it up loud, and fed off its pounding energy. I was so excited when I heard in early 1997 that Catherine Wheel has a new album coming. I couldn’t wait. I couldn’t wait. Then “Adam and Eve” came out and… I was disappointed. So disappointed. Just so surprised to hear them so stripped down and bare. What is this sissy shit? You know, I thought I was about to bite into a sloppy chili cheeseburger with bacon and onion rings only to discover that I just bit into a warm goat cheese sandwich on wheat toast with beansprouts and eggplant. WTF?? Very startling and upsetting for an aggressive 16 year old. I listened to it just once, put it on my shelf and didn’t touch the cd for 3 years. I wasn’t alone with that opinion, many of the newer fans weren’t into it, and the label was upset, ultimately dropping the band and letting the album go out of print quickly.

3 years later, I picked it up again for some reason at the much more mature age of 19 and discovered maybe the most beautiful thing I ever heard. My god. This album is stripped away and about pulling back the layers and getting somewhere authentic. I can now tell that Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” and Talk Talk’s “Spirit of Eden” were big inspirations. I heard the song “Future Boy” and I was stopped cold. You understand the meaning of the song just from the production mixing, when the rising swirl of insanity and noise disappears into a singer alone with his acoustic guitar. I wanted to learn how to play this song on guitar. I’d been playing guitar for 3 years at this point, but it was this song that got me to turn off the distortion and learn chords beyond metal power chords. This started my journey through acoustic rock. And I was suddenly sad to realize that creating one of the most beautiful works of all time earned this band the reward of being dropped from their label and having their album go out of print to fade into obscurity.
Although they did add one radio friendly song at the last minute; “Delicious” is a cool song, just out of place here.
If this album didn’t exist there never would have been any Coldplay. Listen to Coldplay’s first record “Parachutes”. It’s a watered down attempt at “Adam and Eve”. But props to Coldplay, they were so much better when they tried to pull off Catherine Wheel than when they tried to pull off U2.

[B-sides and Video after the break]

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Music Pick of the Day – Silversun Pickups

 
Silversun Pickups – Swoon

Music Pick of the Day – Silversun Pickups

Panic Switch
There’s No Secrets This Year
The Royal We
Growing Old is Getting Old
Sort Of

(Click image for Amazon.com)

My generation had so much awesome rock music offered in the early-mid 90s, until the embarrassing wave of angst hip hop nu-metal swept in and destroyed the scene in the late 90s/early 2000s courtesy of limp bizkit and linkin park. Thank god that’s over thanks to the help of Queens of the Stone Age, White Stripes and The Killers. Sure this new crop of alternative rock bands these days are very derivative from decades past, but many of them are exceptional, they have a fresh modern take on things, and whatever, at least rap metal is gone.

I’m enjoying this trend of revitalizing the styles of music from generations before mine. But it feels strange to hear new music derivative of the rock I grew up on in the 90s. Wait, that’s not an older style now is it?
Feels weird, but I can’t help it, I’m mesmerized by the new Silversun Pickups album “Swoon”. If this exact album was labeled Smashing Pumpkins, everyone would be screaming about what a fucking genius Billy Corgan still is. Unfortunately Billy’s now passed his prime, out of touch, putting out worthless music, severely harming the Pumpkins phenomenal legacy. Sad to watch a genius get old and lose it. Time to admit the students are now surpassing their teachers.

We’ve all heard the big single “Panic Switch” everywhere, and yeah that is their best song, but the rest of the album is great.

[Video after the break]
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