by Brittney Corridean
Some bands, as they evolve with time, change their sound, band mates, their overall “creative outlook”. All these things can influence what a band will conjure up for their next endeavor. Recently, I was listening to one of my favorite DJs who has a knack for old school indie music. She played Built to Spills’ “Carry the Zero” and it was one of those songs that got stuck in my head until I played it back over and over again.
For those who aren’t familiar with the band, I would say they could hold a kind of acquired taste. I would hate to say pre-emo, if that’s even a thing, but sort of a sad, reflective grunge indie-rock if that description at all makes sense. Their sound reminds me somewhat of Pinback and Modest Mouse. MM even notes that Built to Spill was one of their larger influences for the band.
Many of the songs on 1999’s Keep it Like a Secret originated from various band jam sessions. Member Doug Martsch used a foot pedal that would trigger a tape machine to begin recording the sessions, Later, he would tear apart the recorded music and piece together parts that he liked.
The album, Keep it Like a Secret, was recorded in ’97-’98, but was not released until ’99. Pitchfork ranked the album at #41 on their “Top Albums of the 90s” list. The band itself formed back in 1992 and initially was meant to keep one regular member (Martsch) while the others were going to be an influx of rotation. However, things change and some people stay, some go…it’s all in good fun when music is involved.
The two EPs from the album, Carry the Zero and Center of the Universe, received recognition from fans and critics alike.