Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Tubetop - Three Minute Hercules (1997, Laundary Room)

Almost as soon as this disk landed on the desk of my college station's music director, it made its way into my knapsack. In a matter of hours thereafter, I discovered that Seattle's short-lived Tubetop had unleashed an unexpected masterpiece of near-monumental proportions. To offer an initial clue, former Posies drummer Mike Musburger and bassist Dave Fox played drums in Tubetop. Fitting, Jon Auer of the Posies mixed Three Minute Hercules. All the more fitting. See where I'm going with this? Tubetop's power pop tact was to the '90s what The Records were to the late '70s - straightforward, unembellished, and downright visceral in it's appeal. The Posies influence is heavy, even pervasive in certain moments, but leadman Gavin Guss' timbre falls more in line with Branden Blake, vocalist for another Sea-Tac combo, Super Deluxe. What separates Tubetop from their hometown counterparts, is a semblance of warmth and coziness that was all but lost on the Posies by the time they recorded Amazing Disgrace, in all that album's grunge-ified, havey-handed "big rock" muck. Instead, Three Minutes... relative subtlety suggests the pure pop proclivities of the Greenberry Woods and Matthew Sweet. Regardless, this is an album ablaze with worn-in, deftly crafted songs that push no proverbial envelopes, yet satisfies instantly. As Bruce Brodeen of Not Lame Records would say - extremely, highly recommended! If there's any interest, I have a handful of Tubetop singles ready and waiting for a future posting.

01. Full Bloon
02. Erika Smiles
03. Passes For Love
04. M.I.A.
05. Bleeder
06. What You See
07. With You
08. If I Were You
09. Once Upon a China
10. Oceans Cracked
11. The Weight Of The World
12. The Rules

Get it from Bandcamp.


bglobe313 said...

I think I got this back at the great Disc Diggers in Somerville. Doesn't Peter Buck produce some of the tracks on this? (REM completist alert!)

Anyway, I liked it enough not to sell it when I have gone through (all too) brief phases of wanting to lessen the cubic feet taken up by music in my house.

I would be very interested in those singles.

Ace K.

AND, if this is where I got the For Against download, thank you VERY MUCH.

spavid said...

That's right, Peter Buck produced "What You See" and "Passes For Love." Will try to get the singles up in the near future.

Monkey Flinging Poo said...

Thank you. Never heard of this before, but it is pretty swell. Appreciate your "lost" uploads! Oh, and singles from this would be welcomed here.

Haper said...

This is a suprisingly good band. Looking forward to those singles. Thanks!

Monkey Flinging Poo said...

Now that I listened to this all the way through it sort of has an NRBQ vibe.

arob71 said...

Wow, I'm embarassed to say I'm a huge REM and Posies fan and have never heard of this band. Thanks!

StlScrib said...

Just found this post through Pop Fair and a post about Gavin Guss. I had never heard of TubeTop but am really enjoying it. Thanks to blogs like yours for introducing me to new (and old) power pop gems.