August 22, 2009
Here’s Pollyanna with “Lemonsuck” (1996):
Pollyanna were a power pop band stuck in the Grunge era, so their unassuming songs had multiple – and very distorted – loud guitars applied to everything they recorded, sometimes even drowning out the vocals. And sometimes the vocals included very grungy screams for no apparent musical reason within their songs. Pollyanna’s plight at the time reminds me of The Posies, and how their songs sounded grungier and grungier with each release, in an attempt (by the record companies, I presume) to try to fit in with the then current craze for all things Nirvana/Pearl Jam/Stone Temple Pilots et al. (But at least The Posies kept their vocals nice and audible in amongst all that distortion.)
June 21, 2009
Seventeen seconds into Stone Temple Pilots‘ “Interstate Love Song” (1994) there’s this monster riff…
… and I get a feeling of déjà vu. Where have I heard that before? Right here:
That’s the riff at the end of the chorus of “I Got A Name” (1973) by troubador Jim Croce.
I know next to nothing about the Stone Temple Pilots, but I’m reliably informed by Wikipedia that “Interstate Love Song” was written primarily by STP’s bassist Robert DeLeo. It’s entirely possible that Robert’s parents, Mr and Mrs DeLeo, owned (and occasionally played) a Jim Croce record whilst little Bobby was growing up. Or maybe young Robbo listened quite intently to the radio in 1973.
Either way, here are the full versions of each song to reassure you that the Stoners didn’t pinch anything else from Jim:
Stone Temple Pilots – “Interstate Love Song”
Jim Croce – “I Got A Name” (1973)
Incidentally, I think that the Jim/STP riff is an impressive one to come out of the 90’s, when riffs were pretty thin on the ground in the Grunge era (Grunge wasn’t renowned for riffs, it was known more for very distorted chords and a lot of anger apathy nihilism – er, how do you describe alienated teenagers? Oh, yeah – alienation).
For me, though, the title of Best Riff Of The Nineties goes to the one in Soundgarden‘s “Black Hole Sun” (at 2:53 and then 5:03):
Now, that’s a monster riff.