They’re nobody’s buzz bands anymore. But since 1993, MAGNET has discovered and documented more great music than memory will allow. The groups may have broken up or the albums may be out of print, but this time, history is written by the losers. Here are some of the finest albums that time forgot but we remembered in issue #75, plus all-new additions to our list of Lost Classics.
:: THE BEVIS FROND
Son Of Walter // Woronzow/Flydaddy, 1996
When Nick Saloman first emerged from his Walthamstow, England, inner marshland as the Bevis Frond in the late ’80s, he was a one-man band of no mean psychedelic prowess, self-releasing records on his own Woronzow label. He eventually ceded some of the musical duties to a trusted inner circle, although for his 14th album, he reverted to his old working methods. Son Of Walter’s sleeve proudly read, “Written, played, produced & designed by Nick Saloman.” By then, fans understood his yin/yang approach to songwriting; a little bit of Byrds jangle and Hendrix overdrive will get you far. Yet that doesn’t really do Walter justice. For amid these 80 minutes lurked neo-ambient soundscapes, merrye-olde folk strums and moody slices of noirish pop. OK, so there was also a 12-minute guitar freakout that sounded like it was nicked from Electric Ladyland. (Hey, old habits die hard.) But in its intimacy, elegance and diversity, Walter represented all that was cool about indie rock circa 1996.
Catching Up: Since Walter, Saloman has issued six Bevis albums (the most recent being 2004’s Hit Squad) and a number of records by side projects.
“Raining On TV”: