Album: Phaseshifter, 1993
Justification: I’m just pretty much continuing the theme of Songs That I Heard The Other Day At Dig It Up That I’d Waited Half A Lifetime To Hear (along with ‘Happy Man’ and ‘Alone With You’ by the Sunnyboys, ‘In The Echo Chamber’, ‘Leilani’ and ‘Death Ship’ by the Hoodoo Gurus, ‘Godbless’ by Died Pretty, ‘Aloha Steve & Dano’ by Radio Birdman – technically Rob Younger and Deniz Tek the other day, but even so…) we have The Other Killer Single Off Phaseshifter (along with ‘Jimmy’s Fantasy’).
And that’s because I really, really loved Phaseshifter. It was for me what the first Weezer album was for a lot of my friends: a welcome post-grunge reminder that huge, chunky guitars and big pop choruses were not just permitted, but were fucking awesome. And while it’s about chicks watching bands at gigs, I still contend that it’s not technically a touring song and thereby gets past REM guitarist Peter Buck‘s awesome rule that the second a band releases a song about Life On The Road, they should be drummed out of the Musician’s Union. Other songs that I’ve decided don’t fall into this trap for reasons opaque even to me include ‘Range Life’ by Pavement and ‘Reunion Tour’ by the Weakerthans.
Anyway: my point is that this album was my entry point to Redd Kross and I loved it so much that, uncharacteristically, I was nervous to work back. It’s almost like I felt nervously unworthy of it – as though it was one of the popular girls in high school showing an inexplicable interest in me which I enjoyed, but didn’t want to push lest it somehow popped the soap-bubble thin veneer of her interest*.
Generally if I found a record I liked I’d devour the back catalogue with indelicate haste, but this time around I’d heard Phaseshifter was their most mainstream pop album and was genuinely concerned that maybe I’d hate their other stuff and didn’t want to possibly like this album less by contextualising it. It took buying a friend’s car and their having left a mixtape from another friend in the glovebox to make me fall in love with ‘Bubblegum Factory’ and thereby give previous album Third Eye the all-clear, and that was at least five years later. I guess what I’m saying is this: I’m a bit of an idiot.
In any case they absolutely killed at the Enmore on Sunday, and hearing this power-pop masterpiece blasting through the PA was especially glorious. And once again, I’m reticent to see them play their sideshow tonight, so much did I love their set (and I didn’t even see all of it, scurrying off late in the piece to see Royal Headache). Some crushes are better left unconsumated, perhaps.
SONG YOU SHOULD HAVE REDISCOVERED THIS TIME IN 2010: Elastica were being the best thing in the world, very briefly, via the short, sharp and shiny ‘Stutter’.
SONG YOU SHOULD HAVE REDISCOVERED THIS TIME IN 2011: Nuttin’. There was a bit of a gap, actually. Weird.
AND HERE’S THE LAST FIVE…
*This evocative and powerful metaphor is entirely imaginary, incidentally: when I was in high school I was the absolute dictionary definition of The Guy All The Girls Really Really Liked But Only As A Friend. I didn’t even have my first proper snog until I was 17. Seven-fucking-teen. Best years of my life, my arse.