Five Songs, 5/12/2017

See, this batch of tunes is a good example of the kind of thing I wanted. Obscure Seattle ska band! Old-ass straight edge hardcore! More of that stuff! Here's your eclectic bunch of tunes for today.

Easy Big Fella, "Joey & Ranma"

The third wave of ska even reached Seattle. There aren't really any bands other than Easy Big Fella that I listened to back in the day that were part of that scene here, but they were a good one. The last two albums in particular, Eat At Joey's and Tasty Bits and Spicy Flicks (both on Moon Ska) were very strong, and good examples of what the third wave could do well when it was on.

Gorilla Biscuits, "Finished What You Started"

Hardcore punk band that was one of the prominent bands in the straight edge scene. I was never all that into most of the straight edge stuff, other than Minor Threat, obviously. It always seemed so strained to me, like they were trying really very hard. I suspect that a lot of it hasn't aged particularly well either.

The Decemberists, "California One/Youth and Beauty Brigade"

The Decemberists came roaring out of the gate, with albums in back-to-back years that still rank among their best, with a fully formed sound even from the very beginning. I kind of feel like this album gets a bit overshadowed in their discography, which is a shame, as it's full of great tunes. This track is the album closer, with the accordion and bowed upright bass of "California One" merging seamlessly into the piano and organ driven "Youth and Beauty Brigade". It makes for a gorgeous end to the album.

The Flaming Lips, "Kim's Watermelon Gun"

Great song from the last album featuring Ronald Jones, which means it was kind of the last album for that era of the Lips. The shift from the noisy psychedelic pop of this record to the far more symphonic The Soft Bulletin and later albums is pretty significant. At any rate, this album (Clouds Taste Metallic) is the best of that earlier era, and comes highly recommended.

Sunny Day Real Estate, "Waffle"

More Seattle tunes! Sunny Day Real Estate were swimming against the stream, baring their hearts in their music instead of the habitual growl and bluster of grunge. Sure, there were distorted guitars present, but they never really sounded that much like a lot of their label mates at the time. They always reminded me more of the Afghan Whigs, in terms of another Sub Pop band, than anybody else. I actually didn't really listen to them that much back in the day, but came to them after the first breakup.