The Scottish persona and mentality seemed to find the perfect mode of expression in the hard edged indie genre.
The glibness and sardonic attitude to life, accompanied by a massive guitar centred sound made for the perfect marriage.
And I'm not sure why, but that juxtaposition of gloomy, often cynical, sometimes surreal lyrics and a pounding, uplifting tune just worked.
The Nectarine No.9 knew this well, and became the absolute masters of it.
Unlike another of my favourite Scottish bands, Arab Strap, they don't wallow in their own lugubriousness, they celebrate it.
Getting together in 1993, The Nectarine No.9 quickly established a unique sound. Post-grunge indie was often hyperbolic, and The Nectarine No.9 were no exception, using big guitar centred arrangements, with riffs often double tracked, predominately playing in a 'meltdown' style (guitar and voice working synchronously), they created a massive, but hard edged sound (they were never progy, but often experimental).
This release is really a compilation album, made up of the best bits from their first three albums all released by Postcard Records: A Sea With Three Stars [think about it: C***!], Saint Jack and Fried For Blue Material, all now shamefully deleted, but captured here; and boy, it sounds real good.
In a post-modern kind of a way The Nectarine No.9 would play around with song structures and phrasing. 'Unloaded For You' (one of my all time favourite indie tracks) is a perfect example of this, as the song is played twice: once as a lullaby-like blues, and then as a pounding hard rock song, with only a simple bridge dividing the two parts.
The spoken word sample 'You're right... you're so right... you're so right wing' that opens 'Going Off Someone' is up there with the best of spoken word intros; it still makes me smile.
As does the lyric to 'Pops Love Thing', which is wrong, as it's a murder ballad unlike any other.
The Nectarine No.9 - It's Just the Way Things Are Joe, It's Just the Way Things Are (1999)
The Port of Mars
My Trapped Lightning
Don't Worry Babe, You're Not the Only One Awake
Unloaded For You
She's a Nicer Word to Sing
Sound of an Imaginary Line
Going Off Someone
Pops Love thing
Adidas Francis Bacon
CD rip to mp3s
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