The 5: Bands That Should Have Been Bigger
This Week on The 5: Bands That Should Have Gotten a Wider Audience
Is it better to burn out of fade away? Neil Young started the debate but one thing is for sure, both are better than to never really get your shot. No one ever said that Rock and Roll was fair but sometimes it’s just downright cruel. Here are 5 bands that if the universe had aligned for them could have been huge. Damn it, they should have been huge.
* * *
* * *
Wire should really be massive. This London band emanated onto the scene in the late-70′s, a force in the punk rock, and post-punk landscape. They definitely have the clout- They’re often referred to as post-punk, art punk; not easily categorized, but certainly considered highly influential as they’ve frequently been cited by musicians, music critics, and music-lovers alike. Still, the band Wire has has hardly been a household name. But they should be. R.E.M., Sonic Youth, Guided By Voices, and many more respected acts pay homage to the London-based band. Comprised of Colin Newman, Graham Lewis, Bruce Gilbert, and Robert Gotobed, they have magnified the musical scope of not just punk rock, or post-punk, or art rock, but of experimental rock music, totally. They’re a perfect example of a post-punk ensemble. Wire’s imprint is reflected in the respect of subsequent bands, as well as their subverting of genres, lusciously featuring atmospheric sound as well as absolutely strange and always interesting writing. If for nothing else, they should be loved and adored for ’77′s Pink Flag, and ’78′s Chairs Missing. Amazing albums. Luckily, Wire have continued releasing excellent music, and they still tour! In addition, 2013 will see a new release from the innovators. So you still have time to celebrate Wire’s unique body of work as it’s still happening.
* * *
2. The Vaselines
The Vaselines formed in 1986 in Scotland, originally just consisting of Euegen Kelly, Francis McKee and a drum machine; they eventually got themselves a drummer. The alt rock act only released 2 EP’s – Son of a Gun and Dying for It before breaking up in 1990. The Vaselines got some recognition after Nirvana covered Molly’s Lips, Son of a Gun and most famously Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam on their MTV Unplugged session. They were only together for a few years, but their simple and catchy songwriting contained the essence of successful pop songs. Maybe because nearly every track dealt with sex and/or religion, they couldn’t gain mainstream steam outside of their native Scotland. Or maybe the two leads being a couple doomed the band from the start. They started touring again in 2008 after Sub Pop re-released a compilation of their 2 EP’s Enter the Vaselines. They’re touring again after releasing an album of new material, Sex with an X, and they haven’t lost any skill in writing incredibly catchy pop songs.
* * *
3. The Brian Jonestown Massacre
Their story was chronicled in the legendary documentary Dig!, but the 90′s band The Brian Jonestown Massacre should have been gigantic. Instead, their former friends, the Dandy Warhols, met with mainstream success. The brainchild of lead singer/guitarist/songwriter/front man Anton Newcombe, the band is still going today and he is the only original member left. He combined psychedelic rock, the blues, folk, electronica and anything else he was in the mood for that day into a sound that, in his opinion, has been ripped off time and again.
At the end of Dig!, Anton claims responsibility for the career of Jack White and the White Stripes amongst many others. He’s a mad genius who’s self-destructive actions and overall craziness cost him money, fans and friends. To witness the whole story, please watch Dig!, it will blow your mind what was caught on film.
Dig!(the entire documentary on Youtube)
* * *
4. Space Hog
The single “In the Meantime” became an Alt Radio staple and they fit perfectly with the Oasis Blur sound of the 90′s. So why does everything else the 90′s Glam band Space Hog did get ignored by radio? Guitarist Royston Langdon had Liv Tyler as his celebrity girlfriend at Space Hog’s height but ended up as Joaquin Phoenix’s assistant who pooped in his bed in the documentary “I’m Still Here.” Criminal.
* * *
They’ve kicked around right on the brink of breaking since 2006 . Wikipedia tells us that they formed as a duo with Joey Stevens on guitar/vocals and Itaru De la Vega on drums. Starting in 2010 the duo shifted over to a full band with three new musicians, including a new drummer. Then Wikipedia goes dark. One would think that in this post-Black-Keys world that we live in that Rumspringa would get plenty of love from radio. So where is it?