Friday, February 19, 2016

Forgotten Fridays: The Elevator Drops - Pop Bus

Forgotten Fridays returns this week with a band I absolutely hated back in college: The Elevator Drops. I can't really blame them for my dislike. Back in 1996, I was thrilled that The Rentals were opening for Blur at Avalon. Seeing two of my then favorite bands together was everything I wanted. The Rentals ended up getting stuck on the Red Hot Chili Peppers/Silverchair tour and had to drop off the Blur tour. They were replaced with The Elevator Drops. Any anger I felt towards the band was purely based on me being 19 and dumb. Also, I was a die hard Lemonheads fan, and I took their song "Be a Lemonhead (Beautiful Junkie)" as a personal insult to my fandom. 

Somehow, The Elevator Drops popped into my head last week, and I decided to give them an actual fair shot for the first time ever. Pop Bus holds up remarkably well. It does scream 1996, but in the best way. It's the ultra-groovy alternative rock that the mid-90s Boston scene was just drenched in but nobody seems to remember. It has just a smidge of the electronica that was set to explode nationwide a year later, but it's not exactly dance music. While it's fairly happy sounding and pretty poppy, there is this bizarre undercurrent of annoying and irritating noise, kind of like Ween or an undercover version of Happy Flowers. Their closest bands sound-wise would be The Dandy Warhols or Jack Drag. I seem to remember them also having a gimmick, almost like they were meant to be aliens. Or that could be the sound of songs like "Elevator to Heaven" that put that in my head.

"Be a Lemonhead (Beautiful Junkie)" is a phenomenal song in retrospect. I wish I had stopped being a stupid teenager and been a fan back in their heyday.

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