Friday, January 30, 2009

Great Bands You (prolly) Never Heard About (pt1)

Speed McQueen

I worked at my college radio station while going to school. I started as the metal show co-host, went on to become become the primary host, and then later to be the program director for the station. Music always played a big part in my life, so I enjoyed sitting in the cramped offices and listening to all the new CDs for hours and hours at a time. Unfortunately, there was crap...a lot of crap. I would say 80% of CDs we received were junk, 10% were of well established artists (think R.E.M. or Metallica), 9% were junk except for one decent song, and the final 1% was something different, something magical and amazing.

Speed McQueen fell in this final 1%. They were kind of the Alt-Pop-with a Punk edge (kinda in the vein of Green Day, Blink 182, or Supergrass) that was so popular at the time but yet they stood out. Their music was crisp, clean, and interesting. Their lyrics were insightful, funny, and nostalgic. This was a group of talented guys. It is not often that and entire CD blows your mind...for me, this one did. Every song on the CD is great. Right off the top of my head I can only say that about a handful of CDs - and half of those are The Beatles. Speed McQueen was probably in my CD player for almost a year straight. That just does not happen to me. I consider them to be one of my great finds while working in college radio.

I was lucky enough to see them in concert a few times and can say that their concerts were even better than their CDs. They were full of energy and fun. The first time I saw them, the temperature was well below zero and everyone in the place was in a pretty foul mood. The opening band (who was a local favorite) were not able to get the crowd going at all. Speed McQueen's music was so exciting and fun that even the people who had never heard them before were dancing and getting very into the show.

You can check out a couple songs here:

Social Genocide

Speed McQueen only had 1 full length album - although it came in two covers - one from Polygram/Mercury and one from Necessary Records. I prefer the Necessary cover (even though it is a little corny -seen above) as the Polygram/Mercury made it seem too bright and poppy (see below - it is not terrible, just doesn't do them justice. If you find a copy of the CD this is most likely the cover you will get). They did also have a short ep called Gig...although I would only recommend that if you really like the full album (not that it is bad, but because most of the music is on the full album so it is repetitive).

Speed McQueen (Polygram/Mercury) Speed McQueen Gig (ep)

I encourage everyone to check them out if you are looking for some music to get you through this winter.

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