120 Reasons To Live: Ned’s Atomic Dustbin

Nothing did more to further the cause of Alternative Nation-building than 120 Minutes, MTV’s Sunday-night video showcase of non-mainstream acts. For nearly two decades, the program spanned musical eras from ’80s college rock to ’00s indie, with grunge, Britpop, punk, industrial, electronica and more in between. MAGNET raids the vaults to resurrect our 120 favorite and unjustly forgotten videos from the show’s classic era.

#11: Ned’s Atomic Dustbin “Happy”

In retrospect, there’s a lot to dislike about Ned’s Atomic Dustbin: terrible style (baggy clothes, dreadlocks—a vaguely secondhand hippie-punk look), a guitarist named Rat, the “whimsical” album title God Fodder and two bass players. Actually, the double-bass approach is what elevated Ned’s Atomic Dustbin above the grunge floodwaters that drowned just about every other U.K. band in the early ’90s: Ned’s pairing of Hüsker Dü-style distorted guitars with an overzealous rhythm section was successful for the duration of one album. 1991 debut God Fodder was loaded with singles, with “Happy” and “Grey Cell Green” among the best efforts at bridging the gap between Britpop and American punk influences. Ned’s Atomic Dustbin went on to record two more albums, but God Fodder is its classic—the band reunited to perform the album in its entirety in London last year.

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