Ford – “Vicodin”/ “Primary Filtration” 7”
Sympathy for the Record Industry, 1992
Acquired: Love Garden, Used, 2009
I bought this because there was something in the notes on the back of the sleeve that said, “This is for Ian!” And I was like “IT WAS MEANT TO BE!” So I took it home, put it on top of my 7”s at the bottom of my then record shelf and went out to dinner with Jenny. When I came back, Panda had devoured half the sleeve. He had never done anything like that before and hasn’t touched my records since, so I can only assume it was a combination of him knowing that I thought this record was in some way special and revenge for us going out and leaving him alone. He’s older now, and much wiser (or just chews on the Kong and four chewed-up tennis balls that litter our apartment and doesn’t have time to bother with destroying the things I love). The wax escaped relatively unscathed. There’s a little tooth mark right at the beginning but the tracks play through fine. Which is great! Because I’ve been writing-up a string of all-girl punk bands recently and Ford fit right in! Ford sound very much their era—1992—with a dusting of grunge and a Breeders badge on denim jacket. I loved playing stuff like this on Alternative Flashback because one of my favorite aspects of the early-mid 90s post-grunge boom was the sheer number of alternative rock bands that came out of the woodwork to have record deals handed to them. Though SFTRI was an indie, there were so many bands signed to majors who made an album and were promptly dropped as grunge withered. The bands that stuck around seemed to be the bands that could churn out a radio single (Gin Blossoms, Goo Goo Dolls, Everclear, and any number of Dishwallas*). At our old house in Lawrence, there was a chart written on a wall in sharpie in the basement for the band Stick (nee Kill Whitey). It chronicled every show they played and the last entry was SIGNED TO ARISTA RECORDS! It struck me that the post-grunge buy-up of little bands was so vast I was living in a place that once housed one of these bands (and, according to our landlord, the pet pig of one of the band members' girlfriends, which was often leashed to the clothesline in the backyard). The saddest thing is that there was so much great music that just vanished into the ether. While these bands weren’t making stuff that was commercially viable, a lot of them were making really good alt-rock. So much of my 7-inch collection is comprised of bands that reside in this mid-90s alt-rock ghetto. I’m listening to this Ford 7” and thinking that I’m probably the only person on the planet listening to these songs right now, and probably the only person on the planet that has listened to these songs in the last month. I feel like staring down into the abyss and saying “Hey! This record is really good! I know you all probably have lives and jobs and kids and stuff at this point but I’m listening to this record you made in 1992 and this is really good!” There was a photo of the band on the back cover that is lost forever and I know that was the selling point. These girls looked so COOL. That effortless cool that indie bands have a hard time finding because they want too much glory. There’s a certain cool that came with “We just have a band because it’s fun.”
Note: I found the back cover on Discogs! The picture of the girls is just as cool as I remember and the note was “thanks ian.” I remember thinking “how did they know I was gonna buy this 7”?
*It is not my intention to shittalk those bands who were fortunate enough to avoid the major label axe that beheaded so many little bands in the early 90s. I went to karaoke a few months ago and spent an hour deciding on whether or not to sing those four songs linked above. No joke. That stuff is basically the sound of my childhood and I have a deep affection for that glossy "alternative" rock)