you am i – sound as ever

i listen back to this album and wonder if modern day fans of you am i ever knew of or liked this work. it was their first album and one i remember looking for in futile at a chain store which is what ultimately drove me to the best record stores in adelaide in the mid 1990s.

this music is much heavier than their later stuff, and even their follow-up (which is the foundation of my entire music collection). to those interested in the web, it was produced by lee ranaldo from sonic youth which probably makes sense when you hear it.

three of the songs from sound as ever are still up there as all time favourites and the videos i watched over and over again on rage. those songs were the singles from the album and the strongest: berlin chair, adam’s ribs (disturbingly possibly about bulimia) and perhaps one of my most favourite ever songs, jaimme’s got a gal. my heart rose in speed and volume any time i heard the first strains of that song and saw the holden special broken down on the roadside. it’s notable that the film clip includes the then new drummer, rusty, when the album was recorded with one-time drummer mark tunaley (who you can see in the vid for adam’s ribs below).

they had released a handful of eps before they got to this album. those releases were hard to find back when i was looking. i did see one the other day at a record fair, coprolalia (the first song on this album) for $30 – not bad value appreciation. i loved finding out what coprolalia meant, as it happens, and never looked back (fuck yeah!).

you am i were the first band i tried to see live with a friend, in september 1995 about six months before i was legal, at the flinders uni refec (i don’t count having seen rem with my sister in 1993). it didn’t work cos back then i didn’t look enough like my sister to pass with her uni id card, and my friend still honestly looked like she was about 14.

they were the start of it all for me, and amongst my fondest memories lie here even if i had outgrown them by the time they released #4 record in 1998. in hindsight i’m increasingly conscious that the artists i prefer have distinctive singing voices. i love timmy and one of my treasured possessions is a beer stein with a photo of me and him that my cousin gave me (props josh). he’s up there with the most complex musicians, but i’ll never tire of listening to this album or seeing the images of my youth flash through the foreground of my mind when i do…

and this must be every red-blooded australian woman’s dream, tex and timmy (though my actual crush at the time was andy kent):


so now, because it’s my only opportunity, here are those three songs in all their glory:


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