Album: Let Me Come Over.
Especially in the late 80s and early 90s, I was always a sucker for folks mining the musical vein pioneered by Hüsker Dü
– fast, catchy punk-pop played by a power trio. Obviously, as the years progressed and we went from Moving Targets to Dinosaur Jr. to Buffalo Tom to Goo Goo Dolls to Green Day to Blink-182, the law of diminishing returns kicked in even as sales got bigger, but every single one of the aforementioned bands stuck at least one song into my love zone.
(And by the way, while I came up with that particular progression of bands off of the top of my head, subsequent research revealed that the AllMusic biography of Moving Targets – who were pretty damn close to the first picking up what the Hüskers were laying down – was written by Buffalo Tom’s guitarist/singer Bill Janovitz, who also wrote the 33 1/3 book for Exile on Main St.)
In the case of Buffalo Tom – who where a pretty good singles band throughout their initial run – I have an unexplained love for their 1992 album, Let Me Come Over, which tossed more than a few slower ones and acoustic guitars into the mix, and was incredibly tuneful throughout. Energetic numbers like like “Saving Grace” and “Darl” wouldn’t have felt out of place on Candy Apple Grey, and they sounded even better in early 1992.
Best of all was “Mountains of Your Head,” which dug its way into my heart with a guitar hook that I’ll be able to sing for you for the rest of my life, even if I’m still not sure what the song’s about. And actually, as far as I’m concerned, “Mountains of Your Head” is about the reappearance of that hook after Bill Janovitz sings:
What’s on your mind?
If it’s on your tongue, you should speak
And I’m guessing that Janovitz got that as well: the last minute of the song is basically the guitar hook repeated over and over again, overlaid with piano, what sounds like mandolin, and what I think are steel drums or marimbas or some other musical percussion. It’s rough and gorgeous all at the same time.
Video for “Mountains of Your Head”
My Certain Songs Spotify Playlist: