Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Few bands have such an unhinged vigor and voracity and level of emotional conveyance as Comet Gain does. They have their punk roots, their twee/pop roots, their northern soul roots, etc. They can be boisterous and rough, and then be soft and sentimental in the span of a few tracks. Throughout their career, which engulfed the UK underground scene in the mid 90s, and continued to progress towards a more distinguished sound, they've always carried a sense of youthful energy and momentum; a "lust for life" so to speak. By the time the 2000's rolled along they really had it down. At the forefront of the band's songwriting is Jon Slade and founder David Feck, but the UK sextet is full of equally talented musicians such as vocalist Rachel Evans, Kay Ishikawa (bass), the pulchritudinous and alluring Anne Laure Guiot Guillain (keys), and M.J."Woodie" Taylor (drums, production).
All of their material is pretty much stellar and has a real sense of urgency and emotional output. Realistes! and especially City Fallen Leaves (which isn't included in this collection since I've posted it a while back here) already cover all your bases from upbeat ballads about the excitement of going to the movies for a date ("Movies") to songs sadder than the loneliest night, such as "Don't Fall in Love if you Want to Die in Peace," to everything in between from love, lust, longing, hope, sadness, the mundane; a potpourri of life in general. "Baby's Alright" on the one of their earliest efforts, Getting Ready EP is an anthem for going out and a damn excitable one at that - one of my favorites of theirs. Many of the songs on the singles are also featured on the LPs (Broken Record Players in particular, is a compilation album featuring most of the bands singles and EP material), but I included them anyways to make the collection as complete as possible. Also, Sneaky is just the American release of Magnetic Poetry, but it has a few bonus songs included.
More than anything, Comet Gain has soul, which can't be said for many artists these days. As I mentioned before in my write up on City Fallen Leaves, these are ardent anthems for youth culture. They're like a more refined and versatile Sonic Youth that knows better than to take themselves too seriously. Although at times they can be chic and cool (as shown in the vid below), there's no veneer, no facade; it's all sincere. Their prolific and expanding career is filled with almost two decades worth of heartfelt poetry combined with punk rock attitude that mesh together really well. Rock these guys and gals, they don’t get enough love.
Holloway Sweethearts EP (1994)
Gettin' Ready EP (1995)
Casino Classics LP (1995)
Say Yes! (To International Socialism) EP (1996)
Magnetic Poetry LP(1997)
Sneaky LP (1997)
Strength EP (1997)
Tigertown Pictures LP (1998)
Red Menace EP (1999)
Realistes! LP (2002)
Beautiful Despair (single, 2006)
Love Without Lies (single, 2008)
Broken Record Players LP (2008)
Herbert Hunke Part I (single, 2009)
Million and Nine (single, 1995)
Jack Nance Hair EP (1998)
Mailorder Freaks Singles Club" [If I Had a Soul, He Walked By Night, Brothers Off the Block] EP (1998)
You Can Hide Your Love Forever EP (2001)
The Weekend Dreams (Split EP with Hello Cuca, 2010)
I Never Happened EP (2010)