Last week, Pitchfork Media shared a list of the top 50 albums of Northwest Music. The list was interesting if not fully fleshed out in my opinion (although they really steered clear of anything pre 1994), but it brough a familiar song back to my ears that I probably haven’t heard since the album came out.
Portland band Spinanes were one of those early 90’s indie bands that were cool because of their uniqueness. The duo, guitarist and vocalist Revecca Gates and drummer Scott Plouf, created a tight and lo fi sound that stood out among the onslought of the Northwest scene that avalanched during the 1989- 1994 era. They didn’t screaming and throb like the grunge bands- Gates vocals were lilting and slightly shy. Add the fact that there was no bass, just Plouf’s driving rythmn, and the combo resulted for an original sound. Their 1991 debut, Manos, was hot and zeitgiesty.
But it was 1998’s Arches and Aisles that was on the Pitchfork list. Ironic, in that this album was more a Chicago album for me and the band: it was my first few years in Chicago after college, and the album was recorded after Gates relocated here about the same time. In addition, Plouf had left the band already for Built To Spill (see the brilliant Perfect from Now On), and Gates added a bassist to her now trio for a slightly more fleshed out sound.
Sadly this album didn’t have the staying power that Manos did for me, so hearing a track from this disc for the first time in nearly 20 years was a revelation. Discerning, delicate, and rythmic, with a great guitar hooks, the track takes me back to a less crazed and frenetic time. The production was definitely a win as well, co produced by the Sea and Cake’s John McEntire. I thnk it’s time to revist this album a bit more.
Enjoy. This is Kid In Candy.