Band: RUSTYGenres: Punk / Rock / Grunge / Alternative / Indie
Related artists: Doughboys.
Country: Toronto, CANADA
Years Active: 1994-1998
Label(s): Handsome Boy
This post's artist is from the April 2014 Mix. This is track #10.
You can download the April 2014 Mix#4 right here.
For fans of: Life In Vacuum, Rye Coalition, Pearl Jam, The Mark Inside, Foo Fighters, Queens Of The Stone Age, Harvey Danger, Everclear, Nada Surf, Limblifter, Age Of Electric and Nirvana...etc.
Although the word "Rusty" will always conjure up Kramer yelling the name whist commanding Rusty the horse in utter disgust during an episode in the show Seinfeld, the second synapse my brain fires off is related to the Canadian punk/grunge rock band that released one of the best debut records I've ever heard, and then proceeded to suck balls.
RUSTY was a dope, heavy yet almost country-ish grunge band. I feel the need to stress again that they were pretty heavy/thick/chunky/aggressive/whatever for their time as well as for mainstream in general. Everclear, Soul Asylum and the like were garnering a lot of radio play and this Canadian band snuck in and made more than a decent name for themselves, especially in the greater-Toronto area. For me, it was like getting partially into screamy indie/grunge music 7-10 years before properly getting into said music.
So, let's get this over with, because I'm still frustrated - even after 15 years! I was fucking obsessed, yo. I spun 'Fluke' erry day. It was the bomb. Then their 'Sophomoric' album dropped and "man, it sucked." I should probably mention that the album doesn't suck, as they are talented musicians who play some catchy tunes - but to anyone that cherished the heavier side of the band was left out in the cold. Bands should play the music they want to and I can't fault them for it (and damn well shouldn't) - but I have no problem giving my honest opinion when I think the music is bland, boring and quite frankly shite compared to previous endeavors. I think maybe I just liked 'Fluke' a little too much. It really was a musically defining album for me, along with White Zombie, Sugar Ray's 'Lemonade and Brownies' album, Pantera's first few cds and early Weezer.
If Iggy Pop smoked weed 24 hours a day, grew dreads and played primarily aggressive songs with more yelling, he'd probably end up sounding like this guy. As goddamn punchy and engaging as the instrumentals are, Ken McNeil is definitely the vocal point (ha) of RUSTY. Either his voice or his dreads, I'm still unsure.
"Billy Boy" comes off as a post-punk romp. "California" is a stoner-rock serenade with hints of Randy Newman in the verses. "Groovy Dead" is a plodding and aptly titled groovy grunge song with some sugary-sweet backups. "Wake Me" is a hazy back-and-forth between drug-induced reverb and an extremely hard-hitting chorus. The single "Misogyny" has a great little drum intro before gallivanting about with another sassy-yet-catchy post-punk number that sounds like Foo Fighters before Foo Fighters were writing the occasional rock gem. That may be a bold statement, but that doesn't make it any less true.
Their later work may be for you, it just wasn't for me. Start with 'Fluke', it's a fantastic record.
1994 - Rusty cdEP
1995 - Fluke cdLP (download here)
1995 - Chemical Sound Compilation/Split 7" (contributed "Oasis")
1997 - Sophomoric cdLP
1998 - Out Of Their Heads cdLP
(1995) RUSTY - "Misogyny" (from 'Fluke') OFFICIAL VIDEO
(1995) RUSTY - "Groovy Dead" (from 'Fluke') OFFICIAL VIDEO
(1995) RUSTY - "Wake Me" (from 'Fluke')
(1995) RUSTY - "California" (from 'Fluke')
(1997) RUSTY - "Empty Cell" (from 'Sophomoric')