|Portrait of a Band That Should've|
Been But Never Was....
During last year's cycle, I made a brief reference to Sparklehorse when discussing a cover version of one of their songs . Sparklehorse was the brainchild of one Mark Linkous, a gifted and very tortured musician who commited suicide before the band's fifth album was completed. Sparklehorse was a dark, conflicted little band that pretty much acted as Linkous' confessional during those later years of his life.
But before there was Sparklehorse, there was The Dancing Hoods. And The Dancing Hoods should've been the band Linkous was known for.
Unlike the dark, vaguely grunge indie sound of Sparklehorse, The Dancing Hoods were full on, high octane power pop full of crunchy guitars and dancable riffs. While some people might make comparisons to the band's patrons The Replacements and The Del Fuegos, I think a more accurate comparison is to their English peers The Godfathers. Both bands play tough, kick ass music, the vocals barely concealing the snarl in the speaker's tones, the melodies compelling and being both of the present and of the past. Listening to them for the first time after receiving a vinyl rip of their first album, 12 Jealous Roses (from which this song came from), was a revelation. I literally wondered where this band had been all my life, and was floored when I learned of their connection to the mopey, more low-key Sparklehorse.
I simply cannot praise this song, or this band enough. If you like power pop like me, you owe it to yourself to seek out their two albums, 12 Jealous Roses and Hallelujah Anyway. I suspect that Linkous' self-destructive tendencies, a disastrous move to Los Angeles and an inability to land any major label interest led to these two albums falling out of print. However, if you go to the excellent blog Power Pop Criminals, you might be able to find out more about the album and the band.
Here's the song...