Grunge not grunge

Last autumn, Boston four-piece Come were over in Spain shooting Radiation, a punk-rock road movie that's half in Spanish and half in English. They got to play a disgruntled American rock band called, er, Come. The first scene in the film has them flying into Madrid and their contact turns up six hours late. On the flight over, the band read the script and thought "Wouldn't it be funny if that happened". But it did. Six months later in Austin, Texas it's almost deja vu for Come. We were given different times for the interview, so they've been sitting outside a venue on the edge of downtown Austin since 10am when I arrive over two hours later. Then they are hauled into soundcheck for their South By Southwest Festival showcase. Predictably enough, the soundcheck has its hitches, and when we all get to sit down in the carpark of the Electric Lounge, it's way beyond lunchtime.

Thankfully, Come are not the disgruntled typecasts; their real life story has taught them to be patient. In late 1992, they debuted with the astonishingly dark and noisy Eleven:Eleven album. That was the era of Nirvana and Pearl Jam, and Come were tipped as the next big thing. According to Chris Brokaw, who along with Thalia Zedek shares guitars and vocals in the band, "we never really bought that theory. I didn't think what we were doing was very commercial stuff. Most songs were too long for the radio and there wasn't a 4/4 beat that went all the way through the songs, so the next big thing didn't really happen and we got the cult following - quote, unquote. We were lucky in the UK that there was a lot of attention on loud guitar bands in 1993 when we did our first tour, but when Britpop came along, we and our peers didn't really stand a chance. There was a big backlash to grunge even though we were never a grunge band. It was just that we were around at the same time."

Indeed Eleven:Eleven, with its deep blues underlay, was already ahead of the grunge game. Now for the band's fourth album, Gently Down The Stream, critics on both sides of the Atlantic are back on Come's side, even though Brokaw is just as proud of their second and third albums. "I think this one sounds really different from Eleven:Eleven, claims Thalia Zedek. "Some of the songs are a lot more aggressive and longer and take their time building up. It's not as dark. The palate of moods is broader," she says with a big smile. "It is more open, alive and sharper."

Those three adjectives are as apt as any to describe Come's live show, which along with their recorded output, sets them apart as one of the consistently great American bands of the decade.

Watch out too for Willard Grant Conspiracy, another Bostonian ensemble, playing what they describe as "swamp noir".

Come + Willard Grant Conspiracy: Water Rats, Gray's Inn Road, WC1 (0171- 837 7269) 15 Apr

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Office / Sales Manager

    £22000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established and expanding South...

    Recruitment Genius: Administrative Assistant / Order Fulfilment

    £14000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join a thrivi...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

    Day In a Page

    Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

    Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

    But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

    Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

    Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
    Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

    Britain's 24-hour culture

    With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
    Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

    The addictive nature of Diplomacy

    Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
    Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

    Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

    Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
    8 best children's clocks

    Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

    Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
    Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
    Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

    The Arab Spring reversed

    Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
    King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

    Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

    Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
    Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

    Who is Oliver Bonas?

    It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
    Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

    Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

    However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
    60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

    60 years of Scalextric

    Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones