Jan-Simon : Suppose you lived under a rock for the past 25 years, or you just are not that old - and finally want to know what this “grunge” is all about. You could start with working your way through a list of essential albums such as Ten’ by Pearl Jam, ‘’Badmotorfinger’ or ‘Superunknown’ by Soundgarden, ‘Jar of Flies’ by Alice in Chains, L7’s ‘Bricks are Heavy’ or even take in ‘Bleach’ or ‘Nevermind’ by Nirvana and finally go for the somewhat more obscure items such as Skin Yard, Tad or Seaweed. After quite a few hours of listening, you should be able to recognize grunge. For those who think that is too much effort, there is the new second album by the French foursome Dry Can; a cross section of an entire musical genre done by one band in 45 minutes. A lot of Pearl Jam (just listen to the vocals in ‘Away’) but also Hole, Nirvana, Alice in Chains… every song is a pop quiz in it’s own right: what does it sound like most?
One could say a lot about this: not very original, just another cover band etcetera, etcetera. But there is no denying that these French are bloody good in what they are doing. It is the result of many years of polishing and makes you want to take your lumberjack shirt and Dr. Martens boots from the attic. They even add some nu-metal (another almost forgotten nineties musical genre) in the style of the Deftones and System of a Down in songs like ‘Wasted’ and ‘Nu Start’, making the cd for musical history purposes even more useful.
But even without historical knowledge of indepent rock, ‘Meanwhile’ is a good listen. Not every one of the fourteen songs is top quality, but there are no duds on the album either. The vocals, shared by guitar players Antoine Abinun and Anne Lupieri create variation, just as the loud-soft dynamics that make the songs do not play as a same sounding blur. In short: although Dry Can will never win a prize for originality, they score bonus points in the entertainment department. This is obviously a band in need of a large audience.