Monday, March 3, 2008

Where are they now pt. 1: Gravel

A bands breaks up and its admirers are basically left with two questions. What happened? And: where are they now? Were there musical differences, or was it that they simply couldn´t stand each other any more after spending way too much time together in damp practice spaces and stinking hired vans with bald tires? Are they still making music, or have they given up on stoking the star-making machinery behind the popular song? Are they currently flipping burgers, selling insurance, workin´ for MCA or maybe even studying law?

I was thinking about all this when listening to my Gravel albums this afternoon. I´ve always treasured this fourpiece from Anacortes, WA, that only made two albums - both out of print alas, try Ebay - in its short career. Break-A-Bone (´92) and No Stone Unturned (´93) both feature dark and brooding rocksongs with loud, loud guitars. Think Screaming Trees, Wipers or a speeded up Crazy Horse. Their music for me conjures up desolate landscapes and long drives in the rain.

They recorded for Estrus records, a label better known for its sixties garage sound. Apart from the fact that their bassist was in a wheelchair, which you don´t see too often, I don´t really know much about them, so let´s proceed with the music. The first 3 MP3´s are from their wonderful debut Break-A-Bone, while the last 2 songs (including the Patti Smith cover Pissing In A River) are from the slightly lesser quality follow-up No Stone Unturned. And if you happen to read this guys, please write in and give me the lowdown ok?

Gravel - Stone Yard MP3
Gravel - As For Tomorrow MP3
Gravel - Halfway MP3
Gravel - Erase MP3
Gravel - Pissing In A River MP3

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