We like to be cruel for 90’. We’re saying they were all wrong. Bad fashion, absolutely horrible haircuts, kitsch music. Though we still know all the songs, and all the lyrics. We still love 90’ parties where we can scream “tell me what you want, what you really, really want?” with Spice Girls or other probably more ridiculous songs by Backstreet Boys. We’re saying they’re cheezy. We’re doing this ironically, for fun only.
But 90’ gave us number of absolutely classic albums like “Nevermind” by Nirvana, “OK, Computer” by Radiohead, or (What’s the story…) by Oasis. It wasn’t all bad, right?
I made a mistake.
I got “All That We Lack” by War Waves, I’ve listen to it and put it away for two weeks. It was typical 90’s indie rock band with some influence of Seattle punk rock scene. I’ve listen to it on my loud speakers, as punk rock should be listened. I wasn’t much impressed. Maybe that’s the language barrier. I live in Ireland, I speak English fluently, I do my groceries with it, but still it isn’t my first language. “All That We Lack” was an album with music, there were some lyrics there but I haven’t paid much attention to them. All changed when I bought headphones. I’m a fresh father and when my daughter is sleeping it’s a best time to listen music. So first thing you have to know is that, you can’t just play it in a background. You need to sit, turn off your phone (we haven’t got cell phones in 90’, right?), open yourself bottle of your favourite lager and listen to it. These aren’t happy songs. They’re about difficult relationships, problems no one can really understand, live changing decisions. I travelled back to the times when I was a teenager. Everything came back so lively like it was yesterday and suddenly everything about this LP creates a whole.
We’ve all been there. Rebel teenagers, playing truant on a first day of spring to drink warm beer in the park, smoke first cigarette or weed. Having first serious love, which wasn’t an easy one. We had problems at school, problems at home, own problems no one understood and we had same fears.
I grew up in Poland, but I know we were doing same things, and we were listening to the same music.
“All That We Lack” isn’t an easy piece of music. If you’re looking for something cheering, it’s a wrong address. It’s melancholic, full of flashbacks. It has hit songs like for example “Jean Session”, “Horses” or “Bedding” but even they’re somehow dark and reflective. If you get closer it reveals more and more. Writing about music somehow seem to be shallow, pointless? Guitars sounds brilliant, drums are amazing, but still Marc’s voice over them makes it so special. This album is his story and maybe that makes it so honest and intimate. So again, turn your phone off. This lad has something to tell you, listen.
Backwater Records released it in two versions. CD digipack and vinyl. Black, heavy LP in a simple sleeve, with single page insert with lyrics and print of an abandoned green house. I wasn’t convinced to cover first but with time it makes more sense. It looks like those places we were sneaking into, to drink cheap alcohol, smoke and make love.
But it was then.
Now we’re all in our thirties, having jobs, cars, house loans, maybe kids. We like to be cruel for 90’ We’re saying they were all wrong. Bad fashion, absolutely horrible haircuts, kitsch music. But we’ve all been there. 90’ makes us who we are now.