Thursday, April 09, 2015

The search for all killer, no filler

 It has suddenly struck me that all the albums that I class "All killer, no filler" (ie contain not a single duff track in their entire running order) are all male-fronted indie guitar bands from the early 1990s. See for yourself:

  • Radiohead - The Bends
  • Suede - Dog Man Star
  • Blur - Parklife
  • Ride - Going Blank Again
  • Boo Radleys - Giant Steps

I've been told off about the lack of female-front bands in my collection, and this will be rectified in a small way when Belly 'Star' thuds onto my doormat later this week, a female-fronted indie guitar band from the early 1990s. But the truth remains, there was a blessed window in my late 20s when I Quite Liked Music With Guitars In.

All this musical perfection bursting forth from this period of time tells us one thing - you only get decent music under a Tory government. As soon as Tony Blair showed up in 1997, Britpop went down the shitter to be replaced by Steps and the Spice Girls, all the proof you need. My current favourites - Public Service Broadcasting - could only have emerged under Conservative rule, and they are a male-fronted indie banjo band from the early 2010s.

So, I'm going to wax lyrical about the best of these albums:

Teenage Fanclub - Grand Prix

I listened to it all the way through in the car the other day, waiting for the dip somewhere on side two when the duff tracks start. All albums have this - the moment where the band realise they've got an album to finish and they've already laid down their best material, but they've still got about fifteen minutes to fill. This doesn't happen in Grand Prix, because (as the crueller critics say) they used up all the duffers on their previous album Thirteen.

Instead, a tad over 42 minutes of superbly-constructed pop music from the very pinnacle of male-fronted indie guitar bands from the early 1990s, and the impossible task of nailing down a favourite.

So many great tracks to choose from. By the power of ip-dip-dog-shit, I choose Sparky's Dream, which *just* dented the top 40 in 1995, because the British public are a bunch of cloth-eared idiots.

Any more suggestions for all-killer albums I should know about? They don't have to be male-fronted indie guitar bands from the early 1990s, but it helps.


Mr Larrington said...

Groups of guitars are on their way out, Mr Duck...

I presume compilations, live albums and recordings are out, but I should recommend:

Highway 61 Revisited ~ His Bobness
The Velvet Underground & Nico
Hawkwind's eponymous debut
Inflammable Material ~ Stiff Little Fingers
Lift Yr. Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven ~ Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Insider ~ Amplifier

Shining Love Pig said...

You could do worse than the eponymous albums by Fever Ray & Santogold. Furthermore, they're both ladies (for instant hookery, check out the Santogold track wherein she repeatedly asserts this)

Mr Larrington said...

It also occurs to me that the original vinyl releases are better as the so-called bonus tracks you get on the CdD version are usually a Rubbishs.

Now, iTunes, WTF have you done with those Hendrix albums? They were there last night and now they are not. Git.

Andy Todd said...

Possibly a tad early for you but for bloke filled guitar based bands I can't go past Del Amitri. Change Everything was released in 1992 and doesn't have a duff track on it.

If you want obscure early 90's albums then I have a big man crush on Jellyfish. They only made 2 albums; Bellybutton and Spilt Milk. But both are absolute rippers.

Failing that just get The Optimist LP by Turin Brakes and try and get any of those tunes out of your head for weeks and weeks ...

Andy Todd said...

Oh, and how could I forget Come on Feel the Lemonheads.

Almost perfect that one.