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The reincarnations of bands from the ‘80s and ‘90s

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The spate of 1990s band reunions in 2018, from Breeders to Belly, has been dwarfed by a 2019 spring tsunami of reincarnations from the ‘80s and ‘90s, enough to warrant splitting the overview in two. The best of the first wave goes to Glasgow bubblegum-punk trio Bis, whose Slight Disconnects (Last Night from Glasgow) offers a sparkling midlife crisis. From the dance-happy opener “Sound of a Heartbreak” to the politically woke “Home Economics,” Bis members can make teen-c power in their 40s. Karen O of Yeah Yeah Yeahs also amazes in her collaboration with Danger Mouse, Lux Prima (BMG), which simmers with sensuality by sticking to a cabaret-electronica vibe.

It would be nice to say Meat Puppets reach the same heights, but Arizona’s Kirkwood Brothers have lost some energy since their 1995 farewell. Dusty Notes (Megaforce Records) offers 10 exquisite slices of cowboy-Americana, but the druggy punk vigor of earlier albums is missing. Stephen Malkmus, founder and guitarist of 1990s legends Pavement, has not been absent in intervening years, since his Jicks have crafted some fine pop, but Groove Denied (Domino) is another beast. Recorded in 2008 but denied a label release until now, this solo work is an electronica experiment harking back to Bauhaus. In two weeks, we’ll be back to check on Mekons, Ex Hex, Gang of Four and other 1990s ghosts.

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