Unfortunately, this era has yet to be documented in any kind of meaningful way. (Hell, I'm still waiting for Rhino to release their inevitable alt rock hits of the 90s compilations.) Certainly, a few labels and artists have released retrospectives of their own 7 inch releases but there's been nothing in the way of a "Pebbles" or "Killed by Death" style collection for 90s indie 45s. So being the semi-ambitious fellow that I am, I took it upon myself to right this wrong. But being the somewhat lazy fellow that I am, I decided, much like the hypothetical band I described above, that pressing up and distributing records would be too much of an undertaking and that converting 7 inches to MP3s and posting them seemed like the more practical thing to do. (Not to mention having to track down all the bands and pay them. I could release a comp as a bootleg and bypass this step but I'm the above board, straight and narrow type.)
Thus, this feature will be something of a piecemeal compilation. I'll provide you with the track and a little background info and you can go ahead and assemble you own comp if you'd like once there are enough cuts posted to fill a CD. Or you can just take it as it comes. That's really up to you. What's up to me is providing you with quality. Though not the kind of quality that one would file under "sound." This was the lo-fi era after all. So all that surface noise you hear from the vinyl to MP3 is there for ambience. Ambience or the fact that I can't figure out how to make them sound any better.
(Note: If any of the artists responsible for these songs object to them being freely available please get in touch and I will delete them without hesitation. I'm not here to tell you that you should be giving your music away though you should consider that maybe demand for those 50 copies left in your mom's basement will suddenly and sharply increase. Another note: The claim that no one else is documenting this era is not entirely true as the good folks at Static Party have been posting cuts from 90s 45s for some time. However, their focus is entirely on the garage punk genre and while some overlap is possible and even likely this feature should be a bit broader in scope. But do go and pay them a visit, will you?)
Sammy "Babe Come Down"
It's fitting that the first installment of "This Moment in Slack History" would start with a very slack track indeed. When I picked up this 45 from Sammy (released on Steve Shelly's Smells Like Records label) I would've sworn that it was Pavement working under a pseudonym. Just listen to it and tell me it's not a perfect slice of "Slanted and Enchanted" era Malkmus and co at their lackadaisical apex. But no, Sammy was indeed their own entity and even put out an album on DGC in 96 or so. They get a big fat zero for originality but one has to admire the craftsmanship of their sonic forgery. They put so much care into imitating the singular sloppiness of the originators that you may have to conclude that they expended more effort into sounding like Pavement than Pavement did themselves. Yes, it's borderline embarrassing but for the couple of minutes this track is playing you probably won't care.
Play or Download Sammy "Babe Come Down"