Volume I - 1991
An exclusive Generation Riff look at a song you know, possibly love, but may have forgotten about
Welcome back to another edition of "Remember This Song?" where we highlight a song that you probably knew and loved when it was released but may have not heard in quite some time.
"Grey Cell Green" - Ned's Atomic Dustbin
When music fans think of the year 1991, the knee-jerk reaction is to associate bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam, words like "grunge" and "flannel", and Seattle with that year. Honestly, no one would be considered wrong for doing so. The thing about 1991 though, is it was random, diverse, experimental, and different. This is where a band like Ned's Atomic Dustbin fits in.
Formed in 1987 in Stourbridge, England, Ned's took a unique approach to playing and writing music. Their lineup consisted of two bass players which created a sound that most rock bands couldn't deliver.
Alex Griffin (one bass player) played melody lines, while Matt Cheslin (the other one) plays "normal" bass lines creating a tense and highly driven sub-hardcore sound. I can't think of another band who does this (and does it successfully) and I'm betting you can't either.
"Grey Cell Green" was the first song I remember hearing from Ned's and I immediately loved it. It had energy, movement, melody, aggression, and of course, those two bass guitars. It was New Wave, Electronic, and Alternative Rock all at the same time. Whatever it was, it worked and I was hooked.
The band seemed to get big right away. MTV was playing "Grey Cell Green" and "Kill Your Television" a lot and songs like "Throwing Things" and "Less Than Useful" were college radio staples. Considering 1991 is known for the dark, heavy sound of Grunge, the music on God Fodder was a refreshing and upbeat alternative.
The fourth track on God Fodder, "Grey Cell Green", begins with Ned's classic, two-bass attack. It's infectious right from the start and you have little choice but to hold on for the ride. There's a lot to listen to sonically and that's what makes this track so good. You've got dueling basslines, frenetic drumming, fuzz-laden guitars, and melodic vocals. I'm telling you, bands didn't sound like this, and "Grey Cell Green" is a terrific introduction to the band.
Check it out for yourself.