10 Records in 10 Days: Day Three

13 Feb

Welcome back to 10 Albums in 10 Days. A Facebook chain-turned 10 day blog series. The concept is simple. ”Post an album a day covering your 10 all time favourite albums. What really made an impact and is still on your rotation list, even if only now and then? Post the cover, no need to explain, and nominate a person each day to do the same”.

We’ve been nominated but rather than post without explanation, we thought it would be more fun to provide a little context. That is just the first of the rules we plan to break in this series. We are also not nominating anyone else (if you want to join in, you are more than welcome to do so) and we are also not adhering to any of the other implied rules either.

For the purpose of this series, we’ll be posting in the first person.

Day two saw me break an implied rule, day three sees me back on the straight and narrow and back into the mid-nineties for one of my teenage self’s absolute favourites and most listened to.

Sugar – Copper Blue

1992 was the year everything was going to change. British politics was coming to a watershed moment, a tipping point following a recession and constant talk of Maastricht and euro-rebels meant that even an politically ambivalent young teen such as I could tell something was afoot. As it was, the changes that came about were not so monumental, the political status-quo was surprisingly maintained and life continued much as it had in the preceding year or two. The changes that did occur were on a much smaller but no less seismic scale.

For this young guy in his formative and impressionable years, a change in friendships brought about an introduction to something new. While I had found Bowie and others like him in the past, my new found friends were focusing on the present and new found sounds from the pages of the likes of Melody Maker and Select magazine. It was through them and these oracles that I found Sugar and a whole new guitar sound.

Copper Blue brought punk to a whole new audience. To my young and uneducated mind punk was about mohawks, safety pins through your nose and screaming incoherent anger set to a discordant and anarchic din that was almost incomprehensible to anyone listening. This was different though; this had melodies and hooks galore, it was catchy and compulsive. It was punk-pop and I loved it.

Bob Mould’s guitars are thick and heady, it was unlike anything I’d heard at the time. It grinds and throbs like a heart made of gears. The drums aren’t so much played as beaten to within an inch of their life, cymbals crash like broken glass as those guitars rev up like a giant American muscle car.

In my older years Copper Blue has become a staple of the car, perfect for driving and singing along to with reckless enthusiasm (the singing, not the driving). The steering wheel is my drum kit and the throaty roar of the car’s engine (I really should get that checked) complements the relentless energy of the guitar riffs.

Each of its 10 tracks is a glorious achievement in the field of infectious alt-rock. It traverses a line so thin that it is barely visible to the naked eye, a line that sits between mainstream friendly pop song lovers and the grungey, flannel shirt wearing ‘cooler’ kids that were just starting to find their way out of the shadows.

While I didn’t wear the flannel and certainly wasn’t a cool kid, Copper Blue saw me start to find my way out of the shadows and into this new world. A world that would soon see me going to my first gig (see Day One) and broadening my musical horizons still further.

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