One of the joys of having a shared iTunes in the office is not just that you discover new music, but also that you re-discover tracks that you had long forgotten about. One such track that just came back into my life courtesy of a colleague’s library is Winona by the Drop Nineteens, a slice of American shoegazing pop from 1992.
Whilst most people always think that shoegazing was a solely British affair there were a number of bands who took up the mantle of staring at their feet whilst playing guitar pop with loads of effects & feedback: of these the Drop Nineteens were certainly my favourites. There’s a playfulness about their records that chimed with me, and still does now. The fact that they named a song after the biggest teenage heart-throb of the time (now better known for her interesting ideas on shopping) shows that their was a sense of humour behind all that reverb.
The album Winona was taken from, Delaware (which now costs a small fortune), was a hit & miss affair. Some tracks, such as Winona & the title track, are absolutely magnificent, blending pop & noise perfectly. But on other tracks the noise starts to dominate and you’re left with something that resembles a poor man’s Pixies. Unfortunately not enough people heard the amazing tracks and, according to the gospel of Wikipedia, the band split in 1995 having failed to live up to their early promise.
Still, when you’ve created something as lovely as the Drop Nineteens did with Winona, I guess it’s always going to be hard to top.