no, i’m not starting to go alphabetical on y’all. it just came up and i thought, ooo, grinners!
so, if you’re not from australia, i suspect this band would make no sense and be of no interest to anyone outside the vast coastline. grinspoon were there during the later 1990s riding the seemingly forever peaking wave of beloved australian bands. they were very much of their place, and people clearly identified with that.
a bit like the mark of cain did in adelaide (and other more local bands like rash and flat stanley), grinspoon represented a new south wales north coast aesthetic. guys preoccupied with their holden geminis and commodores, maybe a bit of surfing, hanging out at the mall; and, of course, drinking and smoking pot (which, for phil jamieson, turned to ice). it always struck me as music for the youth (and they kind of grew with their fans, in a way – which is to say, neither them nor their fans really grew out of that time).
in all honestly, though, these guys were a little outside our sphere of focus. we never saw them live. frankly, phil creeped us out; and while he’s another person with a unique voice, it’s a bit too irritating. their variation across the first few albums was low as well, so you always knew what to expect from them. it filled soundwaves. it was there in the subconscious if nowhere else. i guess at some point i gave in and bought this album, which was released outside the heady days of the late 1990s and at the peak of their own powers and popularity in 2002.
it’s mostly pretty heavy, with guitars and bass fairly well informed by non-hardcore metal and american grunge. another wave they were riding. it’s not the most sophisticated songwriting. it just made a lot of young men (in particular) happy and lose their heads in the mosh pit.
regardless of their very parochial appeal, i defy anyone to not bang their own head a little bit…
[also, here’s a bit of flat stanley]