I’m fascinated with the idea that you can like a band, or album at least – for one contribution. That you can not like a song, as such – but you love the arrangement or one player or producer’s contribution. It goes back to me guessing a Jeff Beck contribution to a song on the radio way back and a friend in the car told me that was a wild fluke and seemed incredulous at the thought you could spot a player’s tone and sound just as you could identify a singer.
So sometimes I listen to music because I love the guitar player. Or the drummer…
And though there are loads of great drummers and great drum-albums I have always loved the Spin Doctors’ debut studio album for the offerings from their drummer, Aaron Comess.
Okay, okay, there was a time when I loved Two Princes and Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong as monster-singles. But that was when you’d go to any Mike Myers movie. That was when you’d wear basketball boots as formal wear. That was when you had a red Sony Walkman that walked with you everywhere. And you listened to tapes…and…and…
And, anyway, I bought the album because of the singles. And then on first listen I kinda hated the album. But at the same time was blown away by the drumming.
This dude has chops galore.
But he’s tasteful.
And so I kept buying Spin Doctors albums. But it all started here for me.
The live records were an even better showcase for his playing. And didn’t feature the scribbled-over harmonica solos of John Popper (aka Blues Traveler) but they did showcase also what a thoroughly awful lead singer Chris Barron was.
I listen to Pocket Full of Kryptonite once a year. The way I do with Blood Sugar Sex Magik and one or two other albums where I’m really only listening for particular performances rather than songs. Where I’m also – if I’m totally honest, which is also the aim – tapping into some schoolyard nostalgia too.
He was the reason I bought the other albums too. And a song as horrid as Cleopatra’s Cat doesn’t deserve a groove that slinky.
I looked up Comess the other day. What a straight up monster. Look at him. Fair killing it with egoless groove-chops. This is what drumming is about. Fuck everything else.
Those Spin Doctor cunts didn’t deserve him by the way. He should have been doing anything else.
Now listen to Shinbone Alley for the drums alone. This chap could have been in Pearl Jam or any of the other bands that dominated parts of the 90s. People should use him for everything. Any kind of drumming. Any style. Any song.
Anyway, I will keep listening to Pocket Full of Kryptonite. Once a year or so. Careful not to start singing along to Jimmy Olsen’s Blues or How Could You Want Him (When You Know You Could Have Me?) – just appreciating the groove. And then listening to anything else. Something good…
Click here for more on my weird Spin Doctors guilty-pleasure-type obsession
Shit That’s Good! Crap Albums I Love is an occasional series here at Off The Tracks
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