Sunday, March 29, 2015

CD review: THIRTY SILVER Popidols by Dave Wolff

More shades of the 90s from an album that represents what alternative music should have been, as opposed to the trend it became after Nirvana changed popular music. Thirty Silver’s Popidols boasts a grittiness and dissonance hearkening to a time before post-punk’s breakthrough aboveground. A time before L7 recorded “Pretend We’re Dead” and potential to provoke thought was replaced with stereotypically inane lyrics as flannel shirts became a fashion statement. The result of this maistreamization was the demise of alternative by 2000, much as hair metal fell victim to oversaturation a decade earlier. Though cookie cutter pop replaced it from then on, some apparently remember how things should have been. This is not a polished office at MTV, but the gritty streets of Seattle, Manhattan, or any city where music like this still thrives. The production is not so that you can’t tell one aspect of this album from the other, but don’t expect something family friendly or you’d do better to search elsewhere. The material here reflects the best qualities of L7, Nirvana and Soundgarden, with all the pretentiousness I described earlier cut and cauterized out, leaving only the base angst and rebellion laid bare. As virtually every track shows (especially Pariah, Toybox, So Cool and Nevermore), thin hope is better than none. As long as there are bands like this (and less like The Offspring), true alternative music will always live on. Recommended. -Dave Wolff