Humidifier's Gazer ep (and to significantly wider visibility, their 1997 album Nothing Changes) made it onto the radar of indie rock geeks like yours truly, the popular misconception was that since the band's lineup featured bassist Jim Wilbur of Superchunk, Humidifier were naturally an offshoot of the now veteran Chapel Hill quartet. Not so. In fact, Humidifier pre-dated the Chunk by at least a couple of years, and put their roots down in Connecticut, not the Tar Heel state. Gazer was released in '93, two years after Wilbur teamed up with Mac McCaughan and Co., but the fact that Humidifier bore a considerable resemblance to that quartets scrappy, mid-fi recording aesthetic didn't hurt in marketing the record. Recorded in 1991, the Humidifier lineup consisted of Wilbur on bass, Denis Savkiner on percussion, John King on lead vox and guitar, and Annie Hayden on backing vocals. King and Hayden would further their indie credentials in Spent, who would issue two full lengths on Merge, among some other short-form releases.
A six-piece serving of noise-pop manna, Gazer's conciseness isn't merely economical, it's damn near dizzying to boot, with the tuneful romantic quandary "Nicotine" being it's most notable moment, chockablock with a rock-solid hook, and as you might guess, numerous smoking metaphors. There's a fairly exhaustive Humidifier fanpage with audio content that you can browse to your heart's content, and check out the link to Nothing Changes above for further enlightenment.
01. The Clothes You Left
02. Seven Hours
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