Mid 90’s Noise Rock



**This blog post is written by an old-fashioned, ancient, pre-Web 2.0 guest-blogger***

Ah, for all of you youngsters for whom “emo” conjures pictures of alternately sad/fresh faced young 15 year olds wielding acoustic guitars or some such, and for those old enough for whom current music probably does not hold much appeal, there was a special time called the 90s. You really had to be there, and be older than 14 at the time, to know what I’m talking about here.

Frankly, there didn’t seem to be much notable about the 90s…except for that in hindsight, compared to the music out there today, the 90s seem semi-legendary. I mean, 80s had great funk and pop and new wave, but the 90s had some very interesting “indie music” the extent of which far overshadows any sort of experimentation going on today. It’s like the 90s bore great fruits from the going-ons in the 80s…then most everything kind of died out music-wise in the 2000s. I mean, people actually had bands back then, real, professional quality bands; today it seems anybody who would have been in a decent band in decades past is too busy playing Second Life, making YouTube Videos, or writing meaningless blog posts (guilty).

Among all the other things going on in the 90s there was “noise rock.” I mean, people have talked about some kind of frickin’ “long tail” on the internet, but all I see and hear seems to be a great media and artistic compression. How many times have I seen plugs/mentions of Justice and Arcade Fire on the internet–and not much else? Have I been exposed to any sort of new and intersting and quality music in the last decade due to the internet? Not really, nowhere near as much interesting stuff that was to be found in the 90s, IMHO–and the YouTube videos all the kids seem to be making instead of having bands seem to be pretty weak and pointless, or, at least overly cloying. Music-wise they really don’t make it like this anymore (90s noise rock) , whatever “this” is, for better or worse! Not that they should or anything–but at the very least, this music was unironic and earnest and not geared towards MTV/internet blog fame.

This noise rock would probably be seen as very freakish by today’s standards–a true relic of its time, a pre-internet/Web 2.0/15 seconds of fame era. Where you had to play shows, and not just throw up some half-assed YouTube clips. Though of course I’m linking to theirMySpace pages–but does that really compare to what people used to do in the stone ages, when they had to listen to “college radio?” There were times when kids used to tape songs off the radio–that’s an audio tape for those who have never heard of them–and the magical jukebox in the sky wasn’t filled with tons of mp3 blogs filled with the newest tween-emo sensations, for better or worse. Times when it meant something when an album was released…or for that matter when a song was heard on the radio…not like it is now, like, hmm, I hear Justice has a new album coming out in two months, I guess I’ll download it sometime tomorrow, ho-hum!

A sampling of freakish but earnest 90s noise rock:

Drive Like Jehu


Green Magnet School




Here are a bunch of Drive Like Jehu photos, Middle East club, Boston, Yank Crime tour, 1994…


5 Responses

  1. Can we include some great AmRep bands to the list? How about the Cows, Crust, Cherubs, Unsane, Today is the Day, etc…?

  2. another band that gets overlooked a lot is johnboy. they put out two lps on Trance Syndicate. they were really, really good. the bass player was really scary…intense, is the word.

  3. BASTRO!!! Gods of noise rock. Bitch Magnet! Johnboy! Rapeman!

  4. […] read more | digg story […]

  5. […] and for those old enough for whom current music probably does not hold much appeal, there was a sphttps://trickledown.wordpress.com/2007/07/11/mid-90s-noise-rock/Image results for emo […]

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