Saturday, December 24, 2016

Code read

The Quietus seem to be getting quite (too?) fond of the clickbait headline, but they continue to reel me in. First it was Angus Batey making the improbable claim that, very much contrary to popular belief, Be Here Now is actually Oasis' finest hour, and now it's JR Moores not only rubbishing the received wisdom that grunge (like Britpop) was dead in the water by 1996 but also going so far as to suggest that Pearl Jam's No Code was the genre's "Kid A moment" rather than Nirvana's In Utero.

First of all, you have to buy the idea that grunge had such a thing as a "Kid A moment", and then you have to agree that No Code was it. I'm not sure whether I can give credence to either position, but it's certainly true that No Code is the product of a band pulling in different directions, is more stylistically interesting than either Ten or Vs and is far superior to its rushed and extremely patchy predecessor Vitalogy - and Moores is at least pretty convincing on those points.

On a related note, 2016 marks the 25th anniversary of the release of Soundgarden's Badmotorfinger, which had the fortune or misfortune (depending on how you look at it) to appear two weeks after Nevermind. Noisey's Mischa Pearlman has spoken to guitarist Kim Thayil about the creation of an LP that "both defines and defies the time in which it was made and the zeitgeist both musically and culturally, and which, somewhat rarely, continues to exist within the very same framework in which it was conceived all these years later".

No comments: