A new year! And if 1994 wasn’t Rock’s Finest Year Ever, you can bet your boots 1995 will be. It’s in the air!
Thus, while every rock critic in the world writes an utterly fascinating 10 Best Albums of 1994 list, I’ve decided to go a different route. Instead, here are my predictions of the 10 Bands Most Likely To Break Big in 1995. Ready?
1) The Beauty Of Miro; 2) What A Dumb-Ass Haircut!; 3) Libra; 4) Who The Fuck Are You To Tell Me What To Do; 5) Gorgo; 6) I Only Follow Boz Scaggs’s Orders; 7) Touching Tushies With The Grateful Dead; 8) Generation X; 9) Spitshine Of The Terazzo; and 10) Helicopter Head.
Never heard of ’em? Hey–me neither! But with names like that, how could they lose?
OUTRAGEOUS CHERRY Outrageous Cherry (Bar None) Namewise going the much-admired disco band Wild Cherry one better, this Detroit-based quartet does not play funky music, nor are its members all white boys. Weird! Still, they do rock royally, in that accessible, Velvet Undergroundy sort of sound England‘s ultracool Perfect Disaster perfected several years back to no avail. If you buy this at Wherehouse Records and don’t like it, return it within three days and get full store credit! 4.5/5
GLOBAL COMMUNICATION 76:14 (Dedicated/Caroline) “This could be music for space travel,” notes the cover sticker blurb, “or a mindless night of sex and afterglow.” It could also be music for cutting your nails by, but heck–why get into semantics? As usual, this ambient spacey stuff sounds great to me, though the reluctance of the Brit geeks involved to actually title their songs (“`names’ tend to bias the listener by pre-defining images,” they bleat in the liner notes) is annoying. You can nonetheless bet radio stations will be getting oodles of requests for “4 02,” “9 39,” and the awe-inspiring, memorably-monikered “8 07”! 4/5
ZUMPANO Look What The Rookie Did (Sub Pop) While it may be pesky rock critic shorthand to use such phrases as “the Zombies meet the Only Ones meet the Left Banke meet Nick Lowe meet Love”–as the Sub Pop people did in their press thingie–it certainly saves both my time and you & your dad’s! These youngish Vancouver dudes already put in an appearance on Popllama’s recent utfab Zombies tribute, but get this: Everything here sounds even crunchier and dandier! Boasting a Jimmy Webb cover and a batch of tunes less self-consciously retro than those of, say, Jellyfish, this CD is both silver and circular. 4/5
POND title unknown (Sub Pop) Since my advance CD of this charming 14-track release lacks even an appropriate title, I can only assume its maker is well-known L.A.-based writer Steve Pond–who perhaps dropped his first name as tribute to rising young folk-poet Beck. Wow! 3.5/5
STEVE HACKETT Blues With A Feeling (Herald) A surprising release by the former guitarist with pop group Genesis, Blues With A Feeling is one more sure sign that 1995 will be My Favorite Year In Rock. Hackett’s harmonica skills certainly rival those of Chicago blues giant Little Walter, and his ripping guitar style–illustrated so deftly in Genesis’s 1972 Muddy Waters’ tribute “The Fountain Of Salmacis”–clearly tears the likes of Buddy Guy to shreds. In short, the most gripping blues album since Howlin’ Wolf’s 1963 classic Maid Marion Stole Thee Goddamn Donut. 1.5/5