Every Saturday, we’ll be posting a new illustration by David Lester. The Mecca Normal guitarist is visually documenting people, places and events from his band’s 34-year run, with text by vocalist Jean Smith.
As a group that set out to change the world—in equal parts by our sound, our words and our configuration—reaction has always been of significant interest to Mecca Normal. In the beginning, I suppose we thought our worth and viability would be articulated back to us through reviews—and, to a degree, they were, but it was surprisingly polarized. While we were busy assessing this love/hate dichotomy, something happened that we hadn’t imagined. A bona fide social movement was forming around Bikini Kill and Bratmobile, who we met at some point on tour. In a 2009 interview, Allison Wolfe (Bratmobile, Sex Stains, Ex Stains) articulated the impact Mecca Normal had on her evolution.
“Upside Down Flames” from Jarred Up (K, 1993) (download):