Scrunge (second-rate rip-off grunge) is a largely forgotten genre, and every few weeks I’m going to examine a scrunge act or two and see if they deserve a second chance. Today’s bands: Paw and Seven Mary Three.
Most grunge bands were from the greater Seattle area, with the occasional stray coming from Portland. But scrunge cast a far wider net. STP were from LA. The Toadies hailed from
Austin Ft. Worth/the greater Austin area. Sponge repped Detroit. Very different cities to be sure, and they all had their own unique musical histories that they were known the world over for. And it showed up in these bands’ music.
Sure, The Toadies obviously crib their sound from The Pixies, but they also sound like a band who grew up on the sounds of The Buthole Surfers and the indie Austin scene. STP were never as earnest or thoughtful as Pearl Jam or Nirvana, but their aura of LA sleaze gave them an attitude few grunge bands had. Even Sponge, who are as derivative as they come, carry a bit of the Motor City – you can hear a hint of Iggy Pop’s wildness in them.
But some bands weren’t as lucky as to come from a city with a strong alternative (or any) musical legacy. Paw, for example, was formed in Lawrence, Kansas. You know what famous musical acts are from Kansas?
Kansas. I mean, the band, Kansas, they’re from Kansas. That’s about it.
That’s more notable than Seven Mary Three’s hometown of Williamsburg, Virginia though. They got nothing. Actually, maybe I should check Wikipedia just to be sure.
Okay, I’ll give them GWAR, but that’s it.