fIREHOSE's swan song was Mr. Machinery Operator, their second major label release and one produced by J. Mascis. And I think you can really hear Mascis's influence on the record, especially on this track. It's still fIREHOSE, but it's much rougher, much muscular in an obvious way. I have to suspect that the grunge movement had to have had some influence on the band as well. To my ears, it's not an entirely comfortable pairing. fIREHOSE always sounded so agile, and the fuzzier, more rugged production seems to conceal a little of that agility. I don't know if the band felt the same, but this was it for the band. Overall, to my mind, they have two great albums and three good ones, which is a good tear by anybody's standards.
Band of Horses, "Laredo"
I should love Band of Horses, I really should. I love Uncle Tupelo, for instance, so the whole electrified Americana thing should be right up my alley. But Band of Horses very much fall into that category of bands that I find perfectly pleasant when I listen to them, and then forget exist after they're done playing. It's good! I just never choose to listen to it. So what does that say about me?
Amon Tobin, "Nova"
Amon Tobin was one album away from the nuclear Supermodified, which is one of my very favorite electronic albums of all time. That's an imposing shadow to loom under, but Permutation is fantastic in its own right. This is how the album closes, a smoky jazz pastiche, and it's an example of how the variety of sounds that Tobin used on Permutation which really sets it apart. It's not all just manic energy and aggression, like a lot of late-90s electronic stuff could be.
An intro. If I were to do this project again, I would probably set a rule about skipping tracks under a certain length. But then I wouldn't have gimme entries. A dilemna!
Public Enemy, "PESA #1"
In the end, I went for purity. And, well, this is the consequence.