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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Lifter - Melinda

Band: Lifter
Album: Melinda
Year: 1996
Style: Alternative / Grunge
Similar Bands: Foo Fighters, Nirvana, Gwen Mars, Stone Temple Pilots, Soul Asylum, Imperial Teen, Toadies, Fig Dish
"One-Word" Review: Staggering Grunge-rage
Based Out Of: LA, Cali
Label: Interscope Records, UNI Distribution

Melinda - Cover & Liner Photos

Melinda - Lyrics & Tape

Melinda (1996)
  1. Yardcow 4:06
  2. Headshot 3:13
  3. Something Borrowed 4:32
  4. 402 4:08
  5. Big & Tall 3:08
  6. Hector (For Winnie) 4:11/
  7. The Rich, Dark, Sultry Red of Hate 4:19
  8. Beach 3:37
  9. Monkee 4:03
  10. Shutout 3:42
  11. Shine 5:05
Album Rating (1-10): 8.0

Members & Other Bands:Mike Coulter - Art Direction, Guitar, Vocals
Jeff Sebelia - Bass, Art Direction (american fashion designer)
John Rozas - Drums
Paul Q. Kolderie - Producer
Michael Lavine - Photography
Steve Sisco - Mixing Assistant
Sean Slade - Producer, Keyboards
Andy Wallace - Mixing
Howie Weinberg - Mastering
Bryan Huttenhower - A&R
Scott Cymbala - Management
Jake Ottman - Management
Brian McPherson - Legal Representation
Frank Riley - Booking
Edward Louderback - Art Direction, Photography
Mark LeRoy - Design
Michael Lavine - Photo
Carl Plaster - Drum Tech

Unknown-ness: I bought this tape when I was in high school, but have no recollection of why I bought it, or what the music is like. I’d instinctively assume it is grunge or alternative, just by the date, and knowing what I was into back then, but who knows…it could be a bit punk, it could be a bit indie-pop. And based upon the pictures in the liner notes, I’d think it to be ironic indie-pop.

Album Review: “Yardcow” starts with a chugging guitar and snotty slacker vocals. Then the song explodes with a bass and fuzzed guitar wall of sound in intervals. For me, this feels like high school, even though I have no memory of this album. This reminds me of the Toadies “Possum Kingdom,” with less overproduced catchiness and more guitar solos.
“Headshot” storms right out with buzzing, distorted guitars which quickly quiet down to a bass driven sing song (but fun) vocal melody. The chorus is a little embarrassing, as it feels like it is trying to be too hardcore or metal or something, kinda like Soundgarden. Later on, the verse and buzzing guitars join teams in a very balanced array of music.
“Something Borrowed” gives me the feeling of a Live song as it begins. It is slow and methodic, as it sulks along, head down. Bass announces that the song will pick up, and it does slightly, it has the same methodic trudging, but it is shinier with a louder and catchy guitar section. The sections switch back and forth from loud to soft like a bipolar personality. It reminds me of Imperial Teen’s song “Eternity.” “402” is the supposed “hit” of the album, and it begins as a tired and naggy slow whine, that is perfect pace of a zombie sway. Heavy guitars enter the scene, and the vocals carry the same pace, just louder. The lyrical complaints are that life it too much, and the singer wants to return to a simpler life. The angst is in full swing, and this is a perfect capsule of music of the mid 90’s.
“Big & Tall” has a bouncy bass line to begin itself, with a nice, interesting vocal melody overlapping. The vocal melody is simplified when it gets to the chorus, but it still remains fun. The end repeats a few too many times, and the song ends with increasing feed back, which abruptly cuts off.

“Hector (For Winnie)” comes back like a ballad, with a slow time signature, and plodding tempo. The tempo is constant, but the noise increases as the song moves along. It’s a bit more straightforward version of Alice In Chains’ “Rooster.”
“The Rich, Dark, Sultry Red of Hate” continues the dragging tempo to on side two. Then, suddenly, the guitars kick in and a Nirvana-ish melody and tempo take over. As the song ends, the melody and tempo slowly spiral down the drain. “Beach” has an acoustic, mumbling campfire feel to it initially. There are both unsurity, and confidence juxtaposed in the slow composition. And violins too.
“Monkee” reminds me of “Counting Blue Cars” in the beginning. It gains a hard edge in the chorus, back to the Toadies style, but the rest is a calm Deep Blue Something. It changes gears about 2:30 to fuzz and distortion guitars with a bit of a violin in the background.
“Shutout” is driving, and bass driven with slacker vocals strewn overtop, as it approaches the chorus, which is where the song picks up volume and energy by uttering the title in repetitive-echo with louder guitars for support.
“Shine” returns to the sad ballad format, with a mournful, fluid guitar sound and wavering Dave Pirner-esq vocals. The guitars pick up for a fuzzy instrumental section, and return to the anti-lilting ballad.

Stand Out Track: Big & Tall


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