Linoleum to start the week. A band that, by many standards, was short-lived (1994-2001). But in that short period of time made a strong impression and were essential elements in the Post-Punk genre of the 1990s. Fronted by Caroline Finch, whose voice was hypnotic – they were often compared to Elastica, Sonic Youth and PJ Harvey. In an atmosphere where acceptance is based on being compared to established bands (movies, books, art), you could say Linoleum fell into that niche. But they were very much their own voice and own point of view – and the writing team of Finch and guitarist Paul Jones turned out some nicely intense music.
Ironically, the comparison to Elastica was probably more fate-related than comparative, since Jones left the band in 2000 to join, you guessed it, Elastica.
With two albums to their credit, the debut album, Dissent, was issued in 1997 and was received with mixed reviews by critics and didn’t provide the breakthrough the band had hoped for.
A second album, The Race From The Burning Building was issued on another label, Fierce Panda Records, but didn’t fare particularly well either. Their singles, all released by Fierce Panda did better, but none broke into the top 50.
You could say that Linoleum had been sadly underrated and under-appreciated – and listening to this concert, some 20 years after the fact, I would say that was the case. This always goes back to the crapshoot aspect of Music, or any creative endeavor for that matter – why one band makes it and another doesn’t is sometimes baffling. And in the case of Linoleum, baffling is putting it mildly.
At any rate – You may have missed this band the first time around – Dissent was issued by Geffen here in the U.S. but nothing else was. Fierce Panda was a fledgling Indie label in 2000 who have since grown in stature and include a Publishing arm.
The exact date and venue aren’t known – the April 29, 1997 is a guesstimate. Suffice to say, this is a good representation of Linoleum and why they should be up for re-discovery.
Just a thought.