Arty, long-haired lads with clean, jangly guitars.
A singer with a cool voice you cant understand.
And a band with a talent for sounding absolutely nothing
like the Allman Brothers.
Instead of FM rock conventions you get humidity, hyperactivity
and homespun talent. Add beer, boredom and college kids
and you might just have something.
Stipe, Buck and Mills all hit the scoreboard in this
practice game, but I give this EP to the drummer. Theres
no Moby Dick chewing up an album side, but
its clear Bill Berrys eardrum-thumping did
a lot of the heavy lifting required to put this bar
band into arena-land.
Very soon the band would reunite in the studio to record
their most successful single ever, Summertime
mistake, that was Y&T. But who knew that a gold
rush of hit albums, classic singles and big city sing-alongs
would follow in the tracks of this bright, modest document
on the gravity effect of small town life? Had John Cougar-Mellencamp
even addressed the subject yet?
As the Reagan years made their merry way through time,
many moments were spent puzzling over the ghostly appeal
of Underneath the Bunker, or jamming to
the Tom Waits-strength scronk that closes Cant
Get There From Here. Absolutely none were spent
anticipating the emergence of R.E.M.s soft-spoken
frontman into a celebrity marketforce of nature to rival
Bono, Sting and Madonna.
Call it the Being John Malkovich effect
and file under: before they were rock stars.