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Grunge: Alive and Well in Ballard, Used Record Shops

Posted by March 31st, 2004 No Comments »

Tad: Definitive grunge.Grunge Albums that Weren’t By Nirvana or Pearl Jam that You Should Listen To Because it will Always Rain in Seattle
By Graham Isaac

In honor of the Sunset Tavern’s Grunge Tribute April 1st, I wanted to give you a list of some badass Grunge CDs to check out. You can find a lot of this stuff used for three dollars, and most of it will probably make you wonder why these bands never got as big as Alice In Chains.

Grunge for people who want their Grunge to sound Like Metal
Gruntruck: Push
I’ve got fond memories of riding around in a friend’s car listening to his favorite mixtape, which featured Megadeth, Fear Factory and about five Gruntruck songs. Think Alice In Chains, but replace the angst with a working class aesthetic and a good sense of pick up. I think these guys listened to lots of AC/DC as well.

Tad: Definitive grunge.Grunge Albums that Weren’t By Nirvana or Pearl Jam that You Should Listen To Because it will Always Rain in Seattle
By Graham Isaac

In honor of the Sunset Tavern’s Grunge Tribute April 1st, I wanted to give you a list of some badass Grunge CDs to check out. You can find a lot of this stuff used for three dollars, and most of it will probably make you wonder why these bands never got as big as Alice In Chains.

Grunge for people who want their Grunge to sound Like Metal
Gruntruck: Push
I’ve got fond memories of riding around in a friend’s car listening to his favorite mixtape, which featured Megadeth, Fear Factory and about five Gruntruck songs. Think Alice In Chains, but replace the angst with a working class aesthetic and a good sense of pick up. I think these guys listened to lots of AC/DC as well.

Grunge that can double as Pre-White Stripes Garage Rock Cred
The Mono Men: Bent Pages
This pretty much completes the bridge between The Wailers (Seattle’s, not Bob Marley’s) and Mudhoney. There’s a couple badass Sonics covers, but originals like “No Time” and the crunchy anthem “Watch Outside” more than stand up on their own. If these guys were around now they would slay almost all of the new crop of neo-garage bands making the rounds. They’re not, so check out Dave’s new band, The DTs. (Dave Crider is a founding member of the Mono Men, the head of Estrus Records, and a guitarist for the DTs. – Ed.)

Grunge for people who’s Favorite Movie Ever is The Evil Dead 2
Melvins: Houdini
Blah blah blah, Kurt’s favorite band, blah blah blah, heavy, blah blah blah, longevity, blah blah blah. Let’s face it, though, no other band on the planet really sounds like this. . . the real deal is that this record has a really slow sludgy KISS cover and contains an eight minute drums-only track called “Spread Eagle Beagle.” Oh yeah, there’s also a good mix between super-heavy and catchy (well, the Melvin’s version of catchy.)

Grunge for puppies with Big Balls
Tad– 8 Way Santa
Butch Vig produced this. If it’d been on a major, “3-D Witch Hunt” would have been the crossover single and “Jinx” would have been the big rock hit. Tad is definitve “grunge,” taking cues from both Big Black and Black Sabbath. Too heavy for punk rock with too much get up and go for straight up sludge, this album is a constant battle between heavy and dirty; and we are the winners.

Grunge for people who want their Grunge to soud like the Pixies
Toadies: Rubberneck
You probably remember Lubbock Texas’s Toadies for “Possum Kingdom,” one of those rare one-hit wonders who still get played all the time on the radio (sing it with me: “do you WANNA DIE?”) The cool thing about this CD is that that’s not even the best song. These guys got a raw deal from their label after this album, but it’s still rocks like if Frank Black were being channeled by the ‘Nuge. If nothing else, download “Tyler” and “Away.”

Grunge for people who want their Grunge to sound like Archers of Loaf
Fig Dish: That’s What Love Songs Often Do
This was too heavy for the straight up indie rock circles, but it worked in the Chicago fuzz-rock scene. The main deal here is A) songs that are unlikely but catchy and B) Blake Whateverhisnameis’s funny take on relationships, especially on songs like “Weak and Mean” and “Chew Toy.” Whenever the disc gets too power-poppy, Rick Ness comes in with some crushing power chords or a wah-wah solo to remind you that this is pure rock ‘n roll. .

Grunge for people who want their Grunge Played on Pianos, in the 70s
Elton John – Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Elton John’s gorgeous melodies did nothing to influence Alice In Chain’s heavy shredding, nor did his romantic lyricism inspire Mark Arm’s (of Mudhoney) cynical rants. The piano here has nothing to do with the down-tuned guitars; there are no pianos in Grunge. That said, this album is the perfect thing to carry you through hard times and accompany you during the joyous ones. I’ll bet Kurt Cobain and Elton John are making out in heaven right now.


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