Rid of Me is a new band from Philadelphia formed out of the ashes of Fight Amp, Soul Glo, and Low Dose. I have not heard of any of those bands myself, but the point is that the members of Rid of Me have been slogging it out in the rock and roll world for a while. These are veterans, and you put together veteran members from hardcore punk and noise rock bands and you get ... catchy grunge pop? The historical derivation checks out, but still it is kind of surprising to find it to be true now, so long after The Grunge Era.
So, yes, Rid of Me makes music that reminds me of the mid-1990s. And the actual band is named after a PJ Harvey record from 1993, so i think the band gets that they are doing a kind of retro thing here. But they sound like they are having fun doing it, and the music is good, so what's not to like?
Before i talk about the tunes here, i would like to point out that the name of the label that released this record is The Ghost Is Clear. That is simply one of the greatest names for anything that i have ever heard in quite a long time and i am jealous of those people for thinking of such a brilliant name for a record label. Well done.
Myself starts this album out with Itarya Rosenberg wailing away on vocals over grinding guitars, the rhythm propelling the song along at a vicious pace. Is this a pop hit? In the 1990s, i think this would have been the first HUGE hit off of the record.
They slow it down to a grind for 23. Rosenberg's voice is raw here, a screaming layer over the guitars in a decently paced song.
The title track is next, a blur of a song. The guitars whirr and the drums thud as she growls her words for the most part, except in the middle of the song where there is a spoken word part in which she sounds annoyed or bored. I like the bass riff here. The vocals and the way this one rumbles along reminds me of Chicago's Ganser.
I Don't Wanna starts with a hell of a bass riff, a deep fuzzy rumble that drives the drums, her voice, and chugging guitars along with it. This really reminds me of the 1990s, and she is really bellowing here. Apparently Ms. Rosenberg is also the bassist, so this song is a tour de force from her. Huh.
The next track is called Fun, and ironically it moves at a ponderous pace and is perhaps my lease favorite here. Even so, there is a part towards the end that comes across as rather good: the guitars and bass are just going crazy and she is yelling, loudly and angrily.
True Blue kicks off with bass and voice, the drums and guitar circling nervously. And then it all kicks in with the guitar a mournful squeal over top, as the choruses become very dense. Lovely. It ends with what sounds like a sample of waves...
Spilling is faster, with yelling and furious guitars grinding in a blur. On the chorus, they channel some kind of lick that would have gotten them onto the big stage at Lollapalooza in the mid 1990s. Yeah, this one could have been a hit. Broke Shit is a similar sort of song with the emphasis on loud. Rosenberg yells over a catchy guitar riff. Both of these tunes, but especially the second, remind me of L7.
They mix it up for the next one, Pit, which starts with plucked guitar and her voice, raw and gaspy here. Eventually the whole band comes in, pounding. This is an intense one, more darkness and despair than angst. In a way, the next song is similar. Dealing features the bass as a overdriven rumble and Rosenberg screaming about how she can't cope, as the guitars wail like something off of the darker half of Superchunk's Foolish. It's beautiful and anxious at the same time.
And then it's over. The record is over too fast. I find that when it ends, i want to play it again. This is a solid record. And, well, if we are doomed to repeat the grunge era, i hope that we can at least look forward to records this good to listen to as we repeat it. Sigh... guess i better go dig out my flannel...