Tag Archives: Breeders

507. Madder Rose – “Bring it Down”

If you’ve been wondering why it’s been so damn quiet around here, a few weeks ago I jumped in a Delorean and zoomed back to the early 1990s where I have been trapped listening to this here album.

a album cover a Madder Rose Bring it On hey rose blog onealbumaday CD ReviewWhat a delightful trip it’s been.  The album is some hybrid of so many wonderful things from this time when my hair was long, my waist smaller and belly taut.

This band evoke the guitar work of the more poppy Cure work while also sounding a little Sonic Youth-y. The rhythms could be Buffalo Tom, while the vocals bridge the (admittedly narrow) BreedersDonellyHatfield divide.

The latter lass could easily ‘sub in’ for Mary Lorson at any point, although the latter has the better song-writing chops.  The lyrics are less bratty and self-effacing.

As debuts go this is a ripper.  The band even have the audacity to build the album around a track which is a veritable theme song – Swim – with its “Hey, Rose, Hey Madder” chorus:

I love that this album manages not just the ‘small room’ sway-ey numbers, but also the screaming numbers like Lay Down Low.

And I love that I dialed the “New York 1993” code to rediscover this gem. You should too.

File under: Bring it back


254. Tanya Donelly – “Lovesongs for Underdogs”

I return to the world of female vocals, this time on the solo debut of one-time Throwing Muse, Breeder and Belly-er, Tanya Donelly.

album cover lovesongs for underdogs Tanya Donelly Donnely Throwing Muses BellyDonelly has one of those voices anyone with a familiar with US (and indeed British) indie pop of the late 80s and early 90s will recognise.  She was the one who wrote the more mainstream material for the Muses, and delivered the big hits for grrl supergroup Belly.

After many years with said outfits, she finally popped this little CD out.

It is a curious beast – much less rocky than her band work, more polished, and more folk-poppy (although there are moments were she kicks out a bit such as Landspeed Song and the opening track Pretty Deep is a gem of mid-1990s powerpop).

There is a slight same-same thread running through many of the songs, such that they meld into each other a little, but the quality is sufficiently high to keep me engaged.

She lacks the overt angst of Juliana Hatfield, the battiness of the Deal sisters, or the boundary-pushing of Liz Phair.  The niche she has built is one I enjoy, however.

File under: Benign canine designs