Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Cassette Review: Ballad Of Geraldine "Another Cigarette" (Custom Made Music)

As soon as I press play on this cassette I'm in love.   I can't stop listening to it.   I know there should be more modern influences to refer to Ballad of Geraldine, but there simply are not.   Should we blame the current crop of musicians for wanting to sound a certain way?  Should we blame the past for not having enough influence because even in there I struggle to find the sources?    No.   I think what I've best determined is that it takes a special kind of talent to create music such as this and it's simply a matter of not everyone having it.

The songs have this alternative rock/grunge feel to them, though in the 1990's "alternative" meant something different than it does now (There are so many musicians making the same tired garage pop punk album), but I'm impressed that we can still have the idea of alternative rock because there is still music which we need to turn off.   From something from "The Crow" soundtrack to L7 or 4 Non Blondes, this has a distinct style that is dark and brooding but also melodic.    Again, I am both sad and surprised it has no real modern comparison.

One thing I feel like I need to point out here is that as a true testament to just how great Ballad of Geradline truly are, this cassette made me realize something about music of my past.   Whether or not you want to admit it, when you look back to the days of grunge, there were bands fronted by women but they were always kind of seen as second best to those fronted by men, wouldn't you agree?   To give you a very specific example and skip straight to the point, I think people liked the idea of Hole because Courtney Love is a woman and there is a certain appeal to the music, but at the end of the day, woman or man fronting the band, Hole was simply not creating music on the same level as Nirvana.

So when I look back at these artists (And, jeez, I saw Poe open for Seven Mary Three once) I realize that they did hold that stigma-- not just Hole but really any band from that time, I think, had that idea of "Yeah, you're good, but you'll never be on the same level as Pearl Jam or Soundgarden or Smashing Pumpkins".     And don't get me wrong, there are a lot of great artists from that time (Belly, Juliana Hatfield, Veruca Salt) but I just feel like they were always seen as less than the bands fronted by men.    On this cassette though, Ballad of Geraldine makes music that has that progression that Nirvana did.   They even can draw influences from later grunge rockers like Campground Effect.

It's just strange to me that for so long these artists were seen as second best and I didn't really notice it until now-- it didn't click with me until now-- because I simply did not hear a band that was on the same level as a Nirvana or Soundgarden until Ballad of Geraldine.   So, any time music can teach me I consider it to be a positive, but this also just has a great rock sound that needs to be heard both through this cassette and live I'd imagine.

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