9. The Vaselines - Dum-Dum
For all that grunge is categorised as music for miserabalists, many of the acts at its core knew how to have a good time, too. Nirvana in particular injected plenty of humour into their songs and, especially, their videos. So it’s no surprise that Cobain namechecked The Vaselines as one of his favourite bands.
The Scottish indie rockers only released a couple of EPs and this album during their first incarnation, but just about everything they cut was important to Nirvana (not least the three covers the Seattle band cut).
Their sound ranged from pop to electronic, but they launch Dum-Dum with the heavily distorted, thrashing “Sex Sux”, which wouldn’t sound out of place on an L7 record. They get a lot of mileage from pairing the peaking guitars with plinking keyboards and the high, playful vocals of Frances McKee.
The album’s best track is “Lovecraft”, with its lo-fi drumming and piled up, off kilter vocals. All across the album, The Vaselines can take a simple idea and stretch it out in such a satisfying manner. When the sitar-like sounds start up towards the end, you can hear shades of the deeply underrated Love Battery, who made their way towards something like psych-grunge.