Of course, Kurt‘s death was the single most significant rock moment of the ’90s. His legacy is everywhere. In every small town, where [a]Godspeed You Black Emperor[/a] still (and probably always will) mean nothing, grunge refuses to go away.
Thankfully, [a]Canola[/a], from nearby Charlbury, have managed to avoid the common pitfall of believing grunge started and finished with Nirvana. Instead they inject a sly dose of pop into the mix. Husband and wife team Josh Lambert and Siobhan Hurley are a fascinating spectacle: he’s all elbows and nervous mania as he drags scratchy, Pixies-style melodies out of his guitar; she pouts, dirty dances and opens her knuckles on her bass strings.
Together they rarely stray far from the blueprint, but at least their horizons are broad enough to encompass the odd cracker of a song. Debut Fierce Panda single ‘Q’ sounds like Superchunk gnawing on the bones of some understated lost Smashing Pumpkins gem, while elsewhere they dabble with Sonic Youth.You can even forgive their occasional tendencies towards Green Day-style punk rocking.
It’s their unrelentingly all-action performance that wins your heart, though. Faced with a half-full pub they play like they’re headlining Reading Festival. Small towns breed big dreams, and grunge is, and doubtless will be for years to come, the real sound of the suburbs.