Welcome to Review Revue, where every Thursday I dig through the KEXP stacks to share DJ reviews and comments written on the covers of LPs (and occasionally CDs) in the ’80s and ’90s, when the station was called KCMU, the DJs were volunteers, and people shared their opinions on little white labels instead of the internet.
I know you've heard of Screaming Trees. Local Seattle — well, actually Ellensburg — legends. We've talked about them here, as well as singer Mark Lanegan, a time or two. But did you know founding bass player Van Conner had another band, called Solomon Grundy, who released this lovely album back in 1990? (And how annoyed must they have been when that Crash Test Dummies "Superman" song became huge just a year later? Very. Very annoyed, I would wager.) I bet you didn't.
Another thing you probably didn't know: Van Conner has pretty steadily continued making music through the '90s, the '00s, and into the teens. In fact, he released an album just about a year ago, which you should probably go ahead and check out once you're done with your Solomon Grundy deep-dive. Yay, music!
"I saw them in Everett a year ago, w/nine teenagers and two sixty-year-old street people being the only others in attendance. They were great. And the LP is first rate. I like Van's voice a lot + it has a ringing guitar basis that sounds anthemic w/out being over indulgent. Can't make out the lyrics. If they're good, this becomes a great record. Probably belongs anywhere from M to H. Choice cuts 1-1, 1-3, 1-4, 2-1, 2-2, 2-4, 2-5.
"Not a Trees rip off at all, but I was still fairly disappointed. Sounds more like Dino Jr., but more generic. I think Sean is the new drummer for the Trees."
"M. Guitar rock. Some remarkable songs, some not so remarkable. This does not sound like the Screaming Trees. The vocals make it sound very different."
This week's Review Revue spotlights the Moral Crux album The Side Effects of Thinking. See what KCMU DJs thought back in the day.