Admittedly, I wasn’t planning to post anything this evening. I’ve been taking a breather, cleansing the palate, and rebooting the brain. I’d like to think there’s no such thing as too much music. And quite frankly, there isn’t. But there’s only so much one can process at any given time. At a certain point, it all starts to mesh together, difficult to distinguish, where everything starts to sound the same, even when there’s obvious differences. Hence, a step back is sometimes necessary.
So I’ve decided to take one back to 1992, with a Boston-based band known as Drop Nineteens. They’re no longer around, separating sometime around ’95. But in their day, they were one of the rare U.S. bands that took on the Brit-based dream-pop and shoegaze mantle. They only released two albums, their debut “Delaware” being the more noteworthy. And that’s where tonight’s single hails from, titled “Kick the Tragedy.”
Although clearly influenced by their oversea’s peers, Drop Nineteens tended to embrace the youthful indie Americana spirit of guitar-based reverb rock, skewing more towards the likes of early Smashing Pumpkins, albeit with a lighter, more carefree touch, than something more overtly loud and crushing like My Bloody Valentine.
“Kick the Tragedy” plays like a lazy shoegaze, coasting on an easy wash of sculptural guitar drone, ethereal and melodic, tonally fluid, drifting in wavering oscillations of tempered feedback. It’s more akin to a simmer, than a full-on blast, with an almost innocent and naïve take on the wall of sound genre, which I’m guessing, probably gets a boost in the live performance. But since they’re no longer around, I guess we’ll never know.
This one’s mostly a melancholic instrumental, with a brief spoken-word moment two thirds of the way through its nine minute sonorous meander. A female, maybe a teenager, laments her youth, echoing lonely and confused sentiments of adolescence … thoughts we’ve probably all felt in high school and college – except in this case, sans the social media and smart phones. Remember, this is back in ’92.
I find it helpful to revisit some of these oldies that have been set aside or forgotten, and for some of you, probably non-existent until this moment. It puts some of my current tastes in perspective, as well as contributes to the greater foundation of American indie rock.
That said, I’ve always liked the laid-back noise of Drop Nineteens, and in particular, the hopeful sadness that permeates through “Kick the Tragedy.” It holds a purity and comfort in its nonchalance that I find refreshing and relaxing. It’s not in a rush to be anywhere, preferring to just exist in its moment. And quite frankly, that suits me just fine for tonight.
Here’s the Drop Nineteens’ early slice of shoegaze songcraft “Kick the Tragedy.” Enjoy!
“Kick the Tragedy” from the 1992 album “Delaware.’