I had the privilege of attending high school during the years 1991 to 1995 – what could be viewed as the peak era of commercialization of the Seattle grunge sound (though as I will endlessly preach, the roots of grunge in my opinion originated with the 60’s band The Sonics who were based out of Tacoma, WA). It seemed like every week there was a new rumor – Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam dying from speedballing (since he’s been releasing records steadily, it is safe to assume this rumor wasn’t true), Kurt Cobain of Nirvana OD’ing, Layne Staley of Alice in Chains OD’ing, etc….The scene was so commercial by 1992 it spawned off a 2nd wave of lesser bands and imitators. Even though I listen to music of all ilks, I have a special spot in my heart for what was dubbed “the seattle scene” (hell, I even moved to the Seattle area). In a sad twist of fate, I recently recalled the scene on April 5th, as both Kurt Cobain and Layne Staley died on that day (8 years apart).
In the midst of all of this nostalgia, a curious thing has happened over the last 4 or 5 years – up and coming bands that bear a very strong grunge influence (No, I’m not talking about the grunge-lite bands such as Nickelback, Creed, etc..). I’m talking about bands that know the history, listen to bands that weren’t so famous such as Green River, Tad, Mother Love Bone. The new wave of grunge influenced bands is gritty, dangerous, and in some cases, very melodic (the most notable being the band Yuck). I recently had the honor of listening to one such band that deserves to be huge – Cable35. Their debut album Louder has a very clear grunge influence but turns it into something compelling and unique.
Opening track “Cow Head” starts off with a Nirvana-esque guitar sound (circa Bleach). The band kicks in and I am transported to my youth, melodic screaming ending with the music cutting away and one last lyric “..voice in my head”. Perfect start to the album.
“Factory Floor” has a very very heavy start to it before the music fades away…leans heavily on the bassline. Vocals are demented and restrained at the same time. Key lyric “I’m in control now / I’m in control now”. I love the way the music intertwines with vocals as the vocalist Jeff screams “YEAHHH”
“Abducted” is a very strange interlude that starts out sounding like a noise collage then has a guitar line come in ending the song. Strange little 24 seconds that I love.
“Crops” speeds up the pace a bit, reminds me of the great band Mclusky. Very punk feeling to this one, 2 minutes of heaven.
The album ends with the ballad “Lost City (Pussy Version)” – after the mayhem that came before it, it is a welcome retreat from the noise. Acoustic guitar based, key lyric “In the lost city…waiting for you”. A really great way to end the record.
Seek this record out, it is well worth your time and money. Information on the band can be found here – http://www.cable35.co/home
Verdict: Grunge-y Masterpiece
1. Cow Head
2. Can I
3. Bobby Funk
4. Fact In Spain
5. Factory Floor
6. Come Down To Party
7. Lost City
9. House Of Fire
11. Surfing Africa
13. Fat Snowman
16. Lost City (pussy version)