Friday, November 20, 2009

How The Angels Helped Create Grunge

By Darryl Mason

Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready, in an interview with Kathy McCabe, praises The Angels :
I grew up on (The Angels albums) No Exit and Night Attack...That is the Australian music that meant so much to me, maybe because me and my friends were the only ones who knew them."

Here's the (now pretty hilarious) album cover, and name change, the American label EPIC came up with for the US release of Night Attack in 1982.

When I was interviewing about a dozen young American and UK bands a month for the music press in the early 90s, I had a standard question which went like this :

"Did you hear much Australian rock when you were growing up? Are there Australian bands you count as an influence or inspiration?"

Obviously, AC/DC was an obvious, often answer to that question, and bands like The Scientists, The Birthday Party, The Go-Betweens, The Saints and Radio Birdman were also occasionally cited, but I was always surprised at how many bands listed The Angels for both influence and inspiration. And not just flat-out hard rock bands like Guns N' Roses and Motley Crue.

I'd have to dig through a bunch of boxes to find the article, but I'm pretty sure it was a member of The Melvins who told me that The Angels' 1983 schizophrenic, heavily jammed Watch The Red album and No Exit were something like foundation stones of American grunge. That might sound a little mind-blowing, but you only have to listen to the first albums of Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Mudhoney and Green River to hear the obvious influence The Angels had on these bands, and the grunge sound in general, which, listening back now, really does basically sound like loud cranking 1970s Australian pub rock.

Classic Angels :