on 15 July 2001
Come first came to my attention on the early 90's when they received the accolade of being one of Sub-Pop's legendary "singles club" singles - which put them in some pretty illustrious company, including Nirvana.
Come, though, are a long way from the standard grunge formula; they play with a punky disdain for using any special effects or production trickery, apart from having everything up loud - and a bit of reverb, which gives the albums an almost "live" feel, but their songs are well-structured, sometimes quite intricately so, with changes in key, tempo or even timesignature, capturing various moods from melancholy to fury - not much in the way of jollity, though! Many of the songs on this album are pretty slow, moody and sparcely instrumented, conjuring up a picture of small-town America.
They are masters of the big build up, particularly on "Mercury Falls", which starts off deceptively quietly but develops into a furious piece, with Thalia Zadek's vocals shifting from conversational level to full throated rock 'n' roll yell without a slip.
"In/Out" starts off with the hum, crackle and feedback of electrical equipment strained to breaking point, but opens quietly with a solitary, mournful guitar solo. From there, though, things quickly start happening, and is soon ripping along - there is a great hook, too, with a deep, twangy guitar solo towards the middle. This would have made a great opener for the album, but the inappropriately named "Finish line" does the job just as well!
Other highlights, are "Yr Reign" and "Poison", which are both pretty full tilt rockers, though with Come's gift for structure, they still remain out of the ordinary.
One last special mention (I love every track on this, but want to keep the review short) for "Arrive", the last track. A very subdued song about well-meaning friends, with an almost "Alt-Country" feel - distinctly American Gothic.
If I had to sum up in one phrase, if Nirvana were once decribed as a heavy metal band playing punk, then Come are a punk band playing Alt-Country!