Thursday, August 24, 2006

fast & jittery: orange juice + the wedding present

The UK has a grand tradition of fast, chaotic and vulnerable pop that reaches back to the post-punk era. Pehaps one could even trace the thread back to Skiffle and Mersey Beat, but that's probably more of a stretch.

From Glasgow, Scotland, Orange Juice pioneered the nerdy and romantic art-punk jangle that has has become a permanent part of the indie landscape. You might even call them pre-twee. An impressive collection of their first recordings (1980-1981) was released by Domino last year as The Glasgow School, and contains the track below. Orange Juice never really made any cash, but frontman Edywn Collins eventually had a big (and unlikely) hit with "A Girl Like You" in 1994.

Orange Juice - Blue Boy
buy it

David Gedge, the singer-songwriter who fronts The Wedding Present is a doomed romantic, as well as being an avid student of the spastic jangle. First emerging in mid 80's, TWP also represent a bit of a missing link between the depressed British alternative rock of that decade (The Smiths, The Cure, New Order, Echo & the Bunnymen, etc) and the rowdier American indie-rock of the 90's. Plus, they were produced often by Steve Albini. All the Albini trademarks are here on this track from 1989's Bizarro: crushing bass, abrasive guitar, buried vocals, huge drums.

The Wedding Present - Crashed


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