Flop to end the week. One of the most criminally underrated and overlooked bands of the Seattle scene in the 1990s. Together for only 5 years, but long enough to record three albums, release eight singles and take part in two compilations. Flop displayed every ingredient to become a milestone band during a time when Seattle was the mecca of new and exciting music.
So why didn’t they make it? Lots of opinions and speculation. Rowdy shows, onstage drunkenness and smashed instruments – enough to warrant getting 86’d from several clubs between Seattle and Vancouver. When they signed to a major label (Epic) and recorded the masterpiece Whenever You’re Ready, they ran afoul of the corporate brass, who promptly buried the album, so it got virtually no marketing or promotion – and because of that, they were dropped by Epic.
But they did several tours of both clubs and concert halls, opening for The Lemonheads and Screaming Trees, and got a following. But the abrupt departure of founding member, drummer Nate Johnson signaled the end of the band and they called it a day in 1995.
Precious little exists of the band live, and in good sound. There may be other recordings around, but they haven’t surfaced and the only two I have is one from a gig at CBGB in New York in August of 1993 and the second, a session in The Netherlands for VPRO in February of 1994. They give a pretty good glimpse of the band in a live setting, but they don’t take the place of their studio efforts which may or may not still be in print. If you aren’t familiar with them (and I suspect there may be more out of you out there not familiar with them than familiar with them), give this short sample of three songs a try. During their tenure they were given generally positive reviews – but one review, by J.D.Considine for the Baltimore Sun said the band were “too idiosyncratic to be lumped in with what most people think of as ‘the Seattle sound‘”, to which I disagree totally. I thought they were great.
You may feel different – have a listen and decide for yourself .