Superheaven – Ours Is Chrome
I heard Oleander on the radio the other day. You remember Oleander, don’t you? If you’re under the age of 25 the answer to that question is probably a resounding “literally who?” Well, Oleander was a one-hit wonder grunge band from the latter half of the Nineties, and their main claim to fame was “Why I’m Here”. “Why I’m Here” was a crunchy little soft-loud-soft song that perfectly encapsulates how artistically bankrupt the alternative movement was by 1999. It had moody minor key verses, over-produced fuzz guitar on the choruses, and absolutely nothing in the way of originality or progression.
Superheaven reminds me an awful lot of Oleander.
Right from the get go we’ve got the whole checklist going: moody Seattle’s Best Coffee drinking singer, fuzzy power chords, verses that serve as a bridge to soaring-but-doomed choruses, bassist that does nothing but follow along, drummer that learned his chops from a drum machine. It’s like someone was producing a film set in Seattle in 1995 and wanted a band that was specifically a bunch of trend-followers. 1995 was twenty years ago. Hold on a second, though, didn’t we just go through a phase where the kids were wearing flannel again? Are we going to have to live through this all over again. Craig Finn once opined that “at least in dying you won’t have to deal with New Wave for a second time” and I’m starting to realize that I might be experiencing the same thing, but with warmed-over grunge rock.
No more, okay? I listen to Sirius 34/Lithium whenever Dirty Projectors or My Old Kentucky Blog comes on XMU, but I turn off Lithium whenever Alice In Chains comes on. No exceptions. It isn’t even AiC’s fault, really – it’s the legion of shitty bands they inspired that have utterly ruined them for me. Here we go again, apparently.