Recently I read an article on Glorious Noise about the Regrettes. I love that kind of music, but it also always transfers me back to the late 80s, early 90s and the hights of Brit-Pop. One of my favorites of that time was Elastica, with their fresh, alternative understanding of pop music.
Elastica was founded in 1992 by the two ex-Suedes members Justine Frischman (guitar and vocals) and Justin Welch (drums). They were completed by bass player Annie Holland and guitar player Donna Matthews, both former members of the Darling Buds.
Their first single Stutter got heavy rotation on BBC radio, which helped them to get a record deal.
The following three singles Line-Up, Connection and Waking Up all reached the top 20 in the British singles charts in 1994 resp. 1995. Waking Up was undoubtedly a good choice as a teaser for the forthcoming album. Noteworthy, the band shamelessly borrowed its catchy guitar line from the Stranglers’ No More Heroes.
Their self-titled debut, released in 1995, broke some selling records and even reached number one on the British album charts. The album contains all four singles and sounds almost like a best-of record. While their sound is genuinely originally, one of their trademarks is also their referencing of “arty” punk bands like the Stranglers or Wire, that could already almost be called plagiarism.
Unfortunately, due to frequent changes in their line up, the band only recorded one more record. The Menace could not build on the innovative sound and success of the debut. Finally, the group called it a day after six years of existence. Band lead-woman Justine Frishmann lives now in the US, pursuing a career as a painter.
Watch this half-hour document to learn more about this fantastic 90s band:
Building on British independent rock music of the late 80s, like the Stone Roses or the Smiths, Brit-Pop aimed to reach a brighter audience by adding more classic 60’s Pop to the mix. Well known representatives of Brit-Pop are Oasis, Blur or Radiohead.
Brit-Pop is only one of the many influences of Elastica. Others are Post-Punk or more general Alternative Rock. But despite there unconventional and rough music, in my opinion, the pop appeal still dominates and makes them stand out.