The 20 Year Theory

Okay ‘Spillers, I’m slowly starting to formulate a musical theory in my noggin. This year has seen 20 year anniversary editions of albums that came out when I first started to get immersed in the world of non-mainstream music – when I was 13/14 (you know, when everything was new and vivid and you didn’t even know they were all just ripping off the Velvet Underground cos you hadn’t heard of the Velvet Underground).

It’s only the start of February and so far we’ve has “Screamadelica” rereleased and today I was reading a 9.5/10 review of Ride’s shoegaze classic “Nowhere” on Pitchfork (about time they got their dues, reunion then? Oh no, you’re too busy with Liam Gallagher’s sodding Beady Eye, Andy Bell).

20 years. 20 years. Hmmmm. I’m now thinking it takes 20 years for a musical movement or style to kinda become something almost untouchable that’s firmly in the past and kinda beautiful and magical and spellbinding and worth emulating. The last couple of years has seen My Bloody Valentine come back into the hearts and minds, and shoegaze influences have been all over the alt. rock world. Now we’re getting to plus twenty for the golden age of Grunge, and I’m gonna start claiming that 2011/2012 is Grunge part two. Albums from Yuck and The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart should be quite popular this year, both springing from an early 90s Smashing Pumpkins and Dinosaur Jr influences, following on from Male Bonding’s terrific yet retrofied debut last year.

It’s the likes of Nirvana, Pumpkins, Mudhoney, Dinosaur, Hole, Sebadoh, Teenage Fanclub, even Pavement that held the most appeal for me through the grunge era – over the more metally Alice In Chains/Soundgarden/Stone Temple Pilots axis – and it seems that this heavy or shoegaze guitar/drum with indie vocals vibe is the thing that’s making waves – and this makes me immensely happy.

I’m kinda rambling in my head here, so let’s focus slightly. Does the 20 Year Theory (20YT) make any sense? Does anyone remember the start of the millennium when everyone was rehashing the post punk/punk funk thing and like just now the charts sound utterly 80s?

Has this happened before in music, and what are the chances of it happening again? Does 20YT hold water or could it do with refining? Where is all this gonna end up?

I’ve posted a nouveau-grunge song that I can’t stop listening to right now, it’s from the band they’re calling Dinosaur Jr Jr, and is the b-side to their new single. The band is Yuck, and the song is called Coconut Bible.