When most people think of ‘alternative rock’ names like The Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden come to mind, and of course Nirvana. They weren’t the first acts to revolt against the make-up and Auquanet heavy bands of the 80s, but they were among the first to bring it to the mainstream in the early 90s. With the one-two punch release of Gish and Nevermind , the world once again realized rock n roll shouldn’t be limited to just songs about parties and female anatomy. It could be about anything from depression to angst and it didn’t matter what you looked like or how many notes you could squeeze into a measure.
As kids my age looked up to the larger than life legends such as Kurt Cobain and Billy Corgan, I’d often wondered just who did they look up to? Tyson Meade.
Thanks to his work in Defenestration and later Chainsaw Kittens, Meade is often sited as one of the forefathers of Alternative Rock. Despite Chainsaw Kittens being of the most interesting power pop bands and influencing many of the MTV buzz bin bands of the 90s like Cobain and Corgan, his work was rarely recognized in the mainstream and since 2001, have been on an indefinite hiatus.
Since then Meade has produced two solo records before taking an extended break. He moved to Shanghai as a teacher for nearly a decade and later returned to his home state of Oklahoma where he occasionally plays local shows every now and then. On a recent trip back to Shanghai, Meade encountered a young violinist prodigy named Haffijy that rekindled his love for music and started him on the path to recording a new record.
Ahead the album’s completion, Meade teamed up with the Detroit based indie label Jett Plastic Recordings to release a vinyl only single Stay Alone (For Haffijy) and the results are astounding.
The title track is an acoustic ballad with a mournful violin melody accompanying the haunting vocals. The song is delicate and emotional showcasing how Meade’s growth as a singer songwriter since taking a break. He’s somewhere between Bob Dylan and The Flaming Lips.
The B-side “He’s The Candy” is far more reminiscent of Meade’s alternative rock days with it’s distorted, British Invasion-meets-The Ramones pop sensibility. Snotty vocals and discord production reminds the listener of Meade’s influence on the early 90s alternative rock movement as well as begs the questions: Just why hasn’t this guy gotten the recognition he deserves!?
Stay Alone (For Haffijy) is available exclusively on Jett Plastic Recordings, and limited to only one pressing. Once the 300 copies are gone, that’s it! You can pick one up while supplies last by visiting Jett Plastic Recordings