Justified Arrogance would like to welcome its newest contributor to the fold: Hayden Roberstson.
Ninety’s alt rock and, more specifically, space rock can be characterized by its tendency to explore the reaches of the mind. Notable acts such as My Bloody Valentine spent years experimenting with sound, becoming louder and more intricate as time passed. On the other hand, bands such as Failure & Deftones would drop much of the experimentation to add bolder and powerful backgrounds juxtaposed to play quiet and loud against one another.
Hum had been a band for six years when they released their highly praised watershed album "You’d Prefer an Astronaut”. If My Bloody Valentine wanted to experiment with your mind, and Failure wanted to bring you into space, Hum sought to physically leave Earth. Hum’s sound is the spacey, soft, and bold play of the era with full intentions of getting out of their realm. The intro track “Little Dipper” immediately shoots you into the ebb and flow of the cosmos upon the first snare hit; from then on its complete immersion in the hopelessness and uneasiness of being stuck on Earth. Hum’s dejected lyricism and willingness to journey the unknown instills the desire to get passed that trapped, suffocating feeling of being home. Some standout tracks such as “Stars”, “The Pod”, and “I Hate It Too” fully capture the feeling of the band at the time and to send you deeper into the unknown realm the record illustrates.
Downward is Heavenward, Hum’s follow up record in 1997, is just as good as its predecessor. The record further developed the band's desire to leave Earth and even incorporated the idea to come back. The track “Green To Me” displays their travel through the cosmos as well as an extraterrestrial meeting. This is their display of how comfortable they became with being in a different realm than the rest of the world. However, Hum is never actually comfortable or content. On the single “Comin’ Home” singer Matt Talbott says they “will have to turn and come back soon” which further expands on the bands constant feeling of unrest. In short Hum is an important band, not only for me, but for anyone who wants to familiarize themselves with 90’s alt rock.
Included are both albums You'd Prefer An Astronaut & Downward Is Heavenward.
- Hayden Robertson