Supreme Dicks – “Breathing and Not Breathing” (2011, Jagjaguwar)
As much as we want to think every underground band in the 1990s was producing quality just because no one was listening, the truth is sometimes underground bands are unknown for a reason. This is the kind of alternative music indie snobs drool over.
Of all the albums I listened to last year but didn’t manage to get published ahead of the “Year of the Album” banner, this was among the worst, if not that very thing. Bad albums are one thing, but this is a four-disc set which brings back to life a long-dead indie-alternative band which, from the sound of the material herein, should have been left mouldering beneath the ground. Deep beneath, if I had my way. You can read the full review at PopMatters, But after digging through the mess which is Breathing and Not Breathing, it’s hard to fathom there’s a significant audience out there featuring listeners who both haven’t already heard the Supreme Dicks and who are clamoring for the music they offer here. If a band existed on the fringes of a scene and then fell into obscurity, I see no inherent reason we should think their limited output is somehow suddenly relevant to rock music today. The idea that these guys from Amherst who made chaotic, inscrutable music are somehow ready for the rock canon seems, in itself, to be the height of pretension.