MP3: Space Needle - Recordings 1994-1997
A few months back LA's Eenie Meenie records released a compilation of work from one of the 90s most influential and yet underappreciated bands, Long Island's Space Needle. The band formed in 1994 under the direction of Jud Ehrbar and Jeff Gatland, and soon gained an appreciative audience through their mixture of lo-fi finesse, pop hooks and elements of experimental noise. Their influences ranged from prog to post-punk to hiphop, and all of these elements can be heard on their stunning 1995 debut Voyager. After being joined by a third permanent member, Anders Parker (the auteur behind the cult Varnaline), this was followed by 1997's The Moray Eels Eat The Space Needle (featuring artwork from legendary Yes artist Roger Dean).
Sadly due to a lack of record company support, plus a dedication from all of the band members to other projects, the band didn't last too long, despite press interest and a highly complimentary Village Voice cover story. Both albums are now out of print despite being regarded as two of the 90s best rock albums, and also despite the fact that myraid contemporary bands, including no less than Animal Collective, Minus The Bear and Black Dice, clearly take some elements of their sound from Space Needle. Other great bands that could be compared, whether its due to a shared experimental aesthetic, production sound or a disregard for the mainstream, would include Yo La Tengo, Low, the early work of the Flaming Lips and even The Velvet Underground's debut. Any fans of those bands (or just any noise/psychedelia fans willing to check out something truly great) would be well advised to check out the songs below, and if they like them, to really check out the whole collection. It includes highlights from their entire discography as well as a music video for Before I Lose My Style, plus liner notes, some very nice artwork and everything else you'd expect from a good retrospective. Click here to buy it.
You can read a nice article on the band over at The Greatest Band Of All Time, or if you need more convincing over whether to check out this record, try the review over at Stylus. Until we meet again, enjoy.