It’s still difficult to discern how a small, often unknown band from Glasgow came to influence some of the greatest names to surface from Washington state. Yet Vaselines are that band, hailed by many yet known by far too few. After all, Calvin Johnson played them on his Olympia-based radio show, Nirvana covered them, and Mudhoney were and likely still are big fans.
But, when listening to songs like “Jesus Wants Me For A Sunbeam” (covered by Nirvana on their Unplugged release) and “Son Of A Gun” it becomes increasingly easy to hear why; The Vaselines have a unique power somewhere between Orange Juice and The Velvet Underground. It’s the soft pop that’s not overly folk, not entirely rock, yet has elements of both. And, of course, the highly DIY feel.
Then there’s the other side: the heavy distortion and wild pop hooks that are downright infatuating. This sound, led by “Sex Sux (Amen)”, was predominant on Dum Dum; it’s easy to see why Sub Pop picked up this career-spanning release — songs like “Rory Rides Me Raw” and “Bitch” hint of modern-day groups like The Dutchess And The Duke. This album, Enter The Vaselines, is out now on Sup Pop. And, in all honesty, it’s well worth the addition to your collection. Brilliant.
Vaselines: Son Of A Gun [mp3]
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