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.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Business Analyst - 12 Month FTC - Entry Level

    £23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Analyst is required ...

    Recruitment Genius: Chefs - All Levels

    £16000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To succeed, you will need to ha...

    Recruitment Genius: Maintenance Engineer

    £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join an award winni...

    Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive & Customer Service - Call Centre Jobs!

    £7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...

    Day In a Page

    Isis in Syria: Influential tribal leaders hold secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over possibility of mobilising against militants

    Tribal gathering

    Influential clans in Syria have held secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over the possibility of mobilising against Isis. But they are determined not to be pitted against each other
    Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians

    Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

    A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians
    10 best trays

    Get carried away with 10 best trays

    Serve with ceremony on a tray chic carrier
    Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

    EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

    An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
    Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

    Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

    The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
    How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

    Heavy weather

    What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
    World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

    World Bodypainting Festival 2015

    Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
    alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

    Don't call us nerds

    Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
    How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

    How to find gold

    Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
    Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

    Not born in the USA

    Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
    10 best balsamic vinegars

    10 best balsamic vinegars

    Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
    Wimbledon 2015: Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

    Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

    Serena dispatched her elder sister 6-4, 6-3 in eight minutes more than an hour
    Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

    Greece referendum

    Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
    Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

    7/7 bombings anniversary

    Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
    Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

    Versace haute couture review

    Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created