Jun 9, 2009

14 Iced Bears. Wonder.

wonder 3

Another band that only seems to have (barely) merited a footnote in Britain's late 80's/early 90's indie music history. Slumberland's In the Beginning collected their early singles, but positioned them squarely in the Twee/C-86 camp, while the last two thirds of their career saw them expanding into, and on Wonder, mastering neo-psychedlia.

I'm constantly wondering why so many of these bands I love never struck it big and are only remembered by cultists these days. The Bears seemed to be plagued by line-up changes, but I don't know if that really held them back. Bad marketing? Not being aligned with a more popular scene? For example, Ride bores me to tears, but are still fondly remembered and easy to find—presumably because they always seem to be mentioned alongside the infinitely superior My Bloody Valentine—whereas all of the 14 Iced Bears albums (even the reissue) are long out of print. Wonder seems to be, by far, the hardest to find.

Honestly, this album is fantastic. If I'd known about it back in 1991, it would have been on constant rotation on the CD player in my dorm room, and nearly every song would have made it onto one of the mixtapes I sent my girlfriend. Bright, supple, exuberant psychedelia oozes from every track, and they pack in so many ideas, textures, and sonic alleyways on each song that even the shorter ones leave you with a satisfyingly full experience. Remember when everything had that super-saturated, candy-colored aura, like the cover of The Breeder's Last Splash album? That's what this sounds like.


14 Iced Bears on myspace

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