C89 7/10

UNCUT - - Archive - JIM WIRTH

Not rav­ing but drown­ing: in­die losers of 1989 re­mem­bered

At the start of 1989, frag­gle colos­sus The Won­der Stuff were NME’s “flower of the na­tion”, edg­ing out The Wed­ding Present, The house Of Love and The Dar­ling Buds. By the end of the year, the Stone Roses had con­quered all, oc­cu­py­ing three of the four top slots in the pa­per’s an­nual sin­gles poll. The fourth vol­ume of Cherry Red’s in­die-cy­clopae­dia Brit­tan­ica, C89 cap­tures the up­com­ing acts Ian Brown’s boys ren­dered ob­so­lete. Rep­re­sented here by classy B-side “Go­ing Down”, the Roses were as Byrds-y and de­riv­a­tive as any band of the post-Smiths di­as­pora, but had a carpe diem swag­ger that the Mill­town Broth­ers or the Pop­guns lacked. With no Sun­days, no Lush and no In­spi­ral Car­pets, C89 is not so much a sur­vey of in­die in the year of Sim­ple Minds’ grisly “Belfast Child” as a me­mento mori for the un­cool as fuck acts who never found a dance el­e­ment to their mu­sic, The Wilder­ness Chil­dren’s fren­zied “Plas­tic Bag From Tescos”, Orchids’ Kinks-y “What Will We Do Next?”, and The New FADs’ clanky “Lions” all mi­nus­cule tri­umphs at odds with their times. Ex­tras: 7/10. Un­re­leased Church Grims, News­flash, Moss Poles and Fallover 24 songs, plus cu­ra­tor Neil Tay­lor’s help­ful guide to all 72 bands fea­tured.

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