Saturday, January 03, 2009
The UNKNOWN Albums of the 90s (#2)
2. Triple Fast Action - Cattlemen Don't (1997)
Even though they clock in at number 2, this band is really the most underrated band of the 90s. They are the Nirvana that never was. I know that's a bold statement...but it's true. TFA is the bridge between grunge of the 90s and the emo of the 00s. They are the missing link between Nirvana and The White Stripes. Like the Pixies before them...their greatest deficit was being a victim of bad timing.
TFA's first album Broadcaster was was a major label flop. But in their defense, it came out on Capitol Records, who at the time, were more aggro about building a college rock arsenal than attacking he mainstream. Hit albums have nothing to do with the quality of the music...it's all about the marketing team. Unless you were 3 Jewish rappers from NY or 5 Londoners with a sleepy-eyed singer...Capitol didn't have any idea what they were doing. Their theory was that being on Capitol was the only "cool cred" a band needed...and it ended up being wrong. Dozens of extremely talented artists fell victim to Capitol's "too cool for school" approach to marketing.
TFA should have been bigger than Capitol let them be. The album was angry yet electrifyng. It was compassionate yet unyeilding. It had power yet felt relaxed. It was the 2nd generation Nevermind. And there was nothing else out there that held a candle to it.
The follow-up album landed on an indie label and showed that band was far more talented than the polished attack of their previous release. Using the same magnetic hooks, the sonic attack of the sophomore release proved the band had range...and a future if they could just get that one break. But that break never happened...and within a year...they broke up.
Ten years later, all of the band members have left the performing side of the music industry. But as Kurt Warner has proved...nothing is ever over....
buy Cattlemen Don't Here