CD Garden Variety (CD 833899),
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Garden Variety

  • 1. Here and Now
    2. Beats
    3. Soul Hands
    4. Winter
    5. Grace
    6. No Shirt
    7. Eyes Closed
    8. Why
    9. Beneath the Wheel
    10. Canyon of Tears
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 10

  • Credits

    Back in 1993, before anyone had even bothered to coin the term emo for heartfelt and slightly complicated punk rock derivatives, Long Island's Garden Variety were setting the stage for a revolution that they'll never get enough credit for. Like their similar-minded and better-known peers Jawbreaker, as well as more indie rock-oriented acts like Superchunk, Garden Variety's first LP focuses most of its overly abundant energy on loud rapidly strummed chords and propulsive drum pounding. Bassist and singer Anthony Roman is the group's secret weapon, and his voice attacks and cracks with the same amount of enthusiasm over the record's 14 tracks. While their next record, 1995's Knocking the Skill Level, contains some more slowed-down exploratory passages, Garden Variety rarely backs off from its full-throttled assault. Unlike the more no-frills punk acts that the group is usually compared to, Garden Variety plays a more intelligent brand of heavy and thoughtfully composed rock. Sure it's loud and fast, but it is also full of constant changes, brilliant drum fills, and screams that have more in common with heartbreak than they do with angry rage. The band went on to really develop their sound into something more unique and influential, but on their debut LP they still manage to chug their way through a number of gems, including the early single "Hedge" and the chaotic stop and start teetering of "Hat Head." Garden Variety may not be the group's best album, but it is still better than the hundreds of copycats that would later transform the band's style into an entire genre. ~ Peter J. D'Angelo

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