What’s that? Is that a guitar jangle I hear? Is that that “loud-quiet-loud” thingy I used to hear so much back in those magical times called “the early 90s”? There’s something quite comforting in the Fender jangle and power-smashed drums with a strong vocal presence that harkens back to a time when ‘alternative’ in music terms meant an alternative to the subpar noise being vomited out every car radio and music channel on the television. It was that magical stuff you only heard on college radio, in your big brother’s bedroom, or getting high in the backseat of a 1977 Chevy Nova with that kid in your class that had had a mustache since the 7th grade. It’s the sound that influenced a sound that put the shine on your youth.
“Johnny Strange”, by Birmingham’s Weatherbird is a song that takes you back to both the early 80s AND the early 90s. Hints of IRS-era REM are heard in the jangle of the opening riff, then a Pixies crunch fills out the chorus with even a touch of Toad The Wet Sprocket in those melancholy minor key verses assures you that these young lads have done their homework and are taking inspiration from the right kinds of folks.