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Big deal made over reuniting of one-hit wonder

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  • Big deal made over reuniting of one-hit wonder

    Wow. The Verve got back together. In other news, Katrina and the Waves planning a comeback tour.
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  • #2
    WOW, I'm so happy, I'm walking on sunshine.....
    I agree with Davhaf.....Kaiser March 9,2004

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    • #3
      Originally posted by skippy05 View Post
      Wow. The Verve got back together. In other news, Katrina and the Waves planning a comeback tour.
      Now now.

      The Verve were pretty big in the UK, so I guess I get it.

      But you've gone and done it, skip. You've impugned Katrina & The Waves. For that you get way more Katrina & The Waves backstory than you could ever possibly want.

      The main person in K&TW isn't Katrina Leskanich; she had the voice and stage presence...but guitarist Kimberley Rew was the main man (yes, Kimberley is a guy; no I don't get how the British make "Kimberley" and "Beverly" men's names, either).

      Kimberley Rew got his start as half the songwriting partnership in a Cambridge band called The Soft Boys. The other half of that partnership was venerated indie-rock icon Robyn Hitchcock. In 1979, Rew & Hitchcock and the rest of the Soft Boys (who included future Squeeze member Andy Metcalfe as well) put out one of the greatest rock and roll albums of all time, Underwater Moonlight.

      Never heard of it? I'll let Pitchfork fill in a few details:

      Hitchcock, who came off like a fey, scarf-wearing art student in the middle of a psychopathic killing spree, slurred angst-ridden, surreal images about sex and death and loathing and rot and ruin, and the joy of it all. Take, for example, the throbbing "I Got the Hots," the band's endearing take on wooing: "Said the dentures to the peach/ Said the tide of filth to the bleach/ Said the spike to the tomato/ Said the curry to the corpse/ I got the hots for you." Fun stuff, assuredly, but not exactly the make-out record of the year.


      To somehow explain the weirdo menace of the production, liner-note writer David Fricke describes the circumstances of its creation. The album was made, apparently, under horribly stressful circumstances, with the band rehearsing in a humid little shack and recording under brutal low-tech conditions. Completely out of favor with the hipster record industry of the day, the band ended up initially releasing the thing themselves. That stress can be heard throughout the album: Rew knocks off genial pop riffs that conceal sharpened fangs; Seligman thumbs his bass like he's auditioning for hell's blues-rock band; and Hitchcock spits out stories about lamps and bugs and people who turn into animals. Anyone put off by the endearingly hippyish novelty act Hitchcock has become of late will be surprised to hear how genuinely monstrous he manages to sound on these sides.


      Whereas a lot of new-wave and punk reissues end up disappointing due to the datedness of older band's sounds, the Soft Boys seem more timeless than timed-out. Though they hardly sound of a piece with the art-rock of the modern day (no 20-minute, drum-and-bass instrumentals here, kids), they don't really fit in anywhere else, either. Instead, their peculiar fusion of the sexy and the creepy exists in an odd little world of its own. Though there are certainly reference points shared with glam, punk and folk rock, the claustrophobic-but-bouncy attack Underwater Moonlight exhibits is another thing entirely. This is all that stress, anxiety and loathing percolating under every great rock song, and made to dance in front of the crowd.


      In the end, of course, the power of the Soft Boys' music remains intact largely because of their strangeness. Because nobody's ever made a record that sounds exactly like this, or that even comes close to mining its depths of weird vigor, Underwater Moonlight ends up being that much more fascinating a listen. Turns out all that stress, anxiety and loathing are good for something after all.
      Kimberley Rew was the fellow responsible for the incredible guitar sound of The Soft Boys. He also wrote "Going Down To Liverpool" for The Waves, although The Bangles had a bigger hit with it. He still records and tours.
      I like cheese.

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      • #4
        i hate that walking on sunshine song

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        • #5
          Bittersweet?
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          "He'll Finnish You Off"

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          • #6
            I do love that song.

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            • #7
              Katrina and The Waves opening in New Orleans?
              Make America Great For Once.

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              • #8
                like a fey, scarf-wearing art student in the middle of a psychopathic killing spree,

                That's some writin' there. Never see anything that good in the Disgrace.

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