Back in 2000 some band — I think it was Wolfie — played in my basement, and they closed their set with a cover of Nirvana’s “Aneurysm.” We all thought it sounded rad, so the next day my friend Kurt and I, confident that our reaction to it reflected a general zeitgeist-wide readiness for a grunge revival, announced our intention to grow our hair long and start wearing jeans with more holes in them. Since then I’ve been through at least two shoulder-length grow-outs, trying to maybe get the idea going in people’s heads, and now it’s finally happening — although the fact that it’s only happening after I cut it all off again makes me think that my own work didn’t have much to do with it.
I didn’t connect Earl Greyhound to any sort of grunge comeback the first couple times I listened to their record. Mostly I was just listening to the guy Sasha Frere-Jones called, “the rock drummer in New York you need to see, NOW,” and sort of digging the vocal lines. It wasn’t until I sort of stepped back and starting hearing the whole thing that it all started to come together. Led Zep riffage? Bold use of palm mutes? Double-tracked vocals pitched right below the cock-rock range? That shit’s what the early Sub Pop catalog was built on. I put it on for a friend and co-grunge-revivalist and he just started laughing with joy. Then he put on the Pissed Jeans CD.
If Earl Greyhound represents the more competent, classic rock end of the Seattle spectrum — Soundgarden, Screaming Trees, etc–Pissed Jeans is the backwoods mutant side. Their music is ugly and mean and only gives you a piece of almost-pop after subjecting you to a couple minutes of something that makes you feel like you haven’t taken a shower in a week. They’re the Melvins.
Given that both of these bands started catching buzz within a couple months of each other — and seeing all of the plaid flannel that’s rolling out for this fall season — I’d say this thing is finally getting ready to fly. If you’re in a band, I suggest you start growing your hair out and writing more songs in drop-D. Buy a Fluid record, and Love Battery’s Dayglo, because you can rip those off without people catching on like they would if you were doing just a straight Nirvana thing. I really want this to happen, and not just because I’ve got all these bootleg Hole seven-inches that could really use some help on eBay.