The first important thing about the 90’s to mention is that there was a significant paradigm shift right from the start. Less than a week into February of 1990, I moved from the country to the city and began attending a Catholic school, sans my older brother’s presence. I took this as an opportunity to completely re-invent myself, and judging by the results… I really shouldn’t invent things.
In terms of music, I again rejected most of the styles I had been fanatic about (namely the glam metal) and thoroughly embraced Goth culture, along with all the associated music, which is probably a logical step all things considered. Sadly, I don’t have any Australian bands to talk about in that regard, as all the artists I remember obsessing over are pretty much just the usual suspects and not-a-one is Aussie (not even a google prompted some long forgotten memory of an old Oz Goth band from the 90’s).
In 1991, however, an ‘indie rock’ band by the name of Ratcat released an album called Blind Love. Two tracks from that album – That Aint Bad and Don’t Go Now – were the first songs I ever adopted as personal anthems, and Blind Love became the soundtrack to my ’91/’92.
I also seriously fell in love at first listen with You Am I and the song Berlin Chair (from debut Sound As Ever, 1993). On a sidenote, this was the first clip of many that I looked at for this song that could be played back anywhere other than on YouTube (same with the original clip for Ratcat’s Don’t Go Now, and quite a high number of other clips I wanted to post here for that matter – it’s gotten to be exceedingly frustrating and I’m not sure I understand what the freakin’ difference is).
For reasons I don’t quite know/remember other than to put it down to being a typically fickle teenager, both of those loves fizzled out pretty quick and I never paid either of them any attention after those first albums. I do remember once saying to a friend of mine, in specific reference to You Am I, something along the lines of that I could recognise that they’re a really good band, but I just wasn’t into it anymore (the old ‘I love it but I’m not in love with it’ schtick, maybe I should look You Am I up again after all these years and see if we still spark).
I think there was quite a lot of that going on in the 90’s, now that I think of it – not just with Aussie bands and definitely not just on my behalf. Some of it was their own fault. When The Whitlams released this utterly and (at times) oddly beautiful song, I and the rest of the country fell in love with it. 1997 saw it voted into the #1 position of a national radio poll – JJJ’s Hottest 100 – for very good reason.
Then they went and spoiled it all by releasing something like Chunky Chunky Air Guitar.
Actually, listening to these songs now, I’m still pretty partial to them, so I’m pleased I haven’t had to reveal being into something like Roxus. (I refuse to mention they were the support act when I saw Poison live in ’89. Wait…)