Friday, September 26, 2008

Muzzle - Betty Pickup (Reprise, 1996)

Muzzle may have called Seattle home, but their brand of punky power pop was more Sugar-era Bob Mould than Kurt Cobain (I feel like I end up referencing Cobain and co. in every post - but it was their success that set this signing frenzy into motion, after all). The band got their start in 1994 and were quickly snatched up by Warner Brother's Reprise Records. I suppose you could call Muzzle lucky, as they were actually able to get TWO commercially unsuccessful (yet extremely solid) records out of their deal before being dropped - 1996's Betty Pickup and 1999's Actual Size.

Betty Pickup was produced by Phil Ek, who had worked with many of the more popular indie rock bands from the Northwest like Built to Spill and Modest Mouse - yet the sort of hip lo-fi aesthetic you'd expect from such groups is not present on this slick, polished record. Perhaps a little less polish would have helped the band from falling into the bland territory, which it admittedly does at points. Regardless, songs like the album's lead single, "What A Bore" (video included below), were finely crafted power-pop gems and should have helped bring the band to greater heights than the ranks of obscurity where they
now reside.

Listen @ iLike
Buy @ Amazon or iTunes

No comments: