Tumbleweed : The Waterfront Years 1991-1993
Subscribe
X

Get the latest from Beat

Tumbleweed : The Waterfront Years 1991-1993

tumbleweed.jpg

In the early 1990s Tumbleweed had all the essential ingredients of an iconic stoner rock band: hard, fuzz-laden driving riffs, waist-long hair and lyrics that indulged the cannabis-imbibing lifestyles of the bored and confused.

In the early 1990s Tumbleweed had all the essential ingredients of an iconic stoner rock band: hard, fuzz-laden driving riffs, waist-long hair and lyrics that indulged the cannabis-imbibing lifestyles of the bored and confused. For a generation of teenagers disenfranchised by the aluminium pop and dinosaur rock ’n’ roll that dominated the commercial charts, Tumbleweed were the stoner zeitgeist.

Aztec Music’s latest re-issue, Tumbleweed: The Waterfront Years 1991-1993 captures Tumbleweed in all their prototypical stoner rock glory. The first disc features Tumbleweed’s early singles, beginning with the deliciously raw and fuzzy Captain’s Log (produced by Mudhoney’s Mark Arm) and the sprawling space-weed Space Friends.

But it’s Stoner that’s the band’s definitive track; its foundation TV Eye riff an obvious nod to Tumbleweed’s Stooges and ‘Birdman influences, while Carousel and Fish Out Of Water illustrate the band’s rarely appreciated pop sensibilities. Carousel, particularly, remains as powerful and catchy as ever. The rarities include the amusing 1993 comic book style Sundial CD EP, complete with obscure covers (Mr Pharmacist, Sweet Young Thing, Mad, Mad Mad and 48 Brain Cells).

The second disc opens with Tumbleweed’s eponymous 1992 debut album. The potential evolution of Tumbleweed from garage stoners to cross-over commercial success story can be seen in the re-worked versions of Sundial and Healer; the twin guitar attack of Paul Hausmeister and Lenny Curley’s guitars exhibit a polished aspect absent in the band’s early singles.

That said, Dandylion Part 1 (and its companion Dandylion Part 2) are ephemeral acid freak-outs guaranteed to, um, freak out any commercial music executive looking for the ‘Next Big Thing’.

The disc concludes with Tumbleweed’s signature single, Daddy Long Legs (that serves as much of an epoch defining track as anything else from the time), the B-side Junior and a cover of Frank Zappa’s Trouble Every Day.

By the mid-1990s, Tumbleweed had fractured; by the end of the millennium, with vocalist Richie Lewis and guitarist Lenny Curley the only remaining original members, Tumbleweed were in Greil Marcus’s Dustbin Of History. But the original members’ decision a couple of years ago to bury the hatchet and reform was a triumph both emotionally and artistically.

The world, and the band members’ priorities, has changed immeasurably in the 20 years since the release of Tumbleweed’s first single, but the band’s music is as potent as it ever was.