The time between the end of the 80s alt-rock boom and the ascendance of Nirvana was damn near Dickensian in its bleakness. Sure, there were plenty of underground delights to dig up, but the majority of the mainstream airwaves were hardly inspiring. Every once in a while, though, a surprisingly succulent tune would break through the arid wasteland and momentarily make things seem alright. Concrete Blonde’s ‘Joey’ was one of those songs.
Concrete Blonde had already been kicking around for a good while by the time Bloodletting was released on 15 May 1990. They put out their first single in 1982, their self-titled debut LP in 1986, and the follow-up, Free, three years later. They already had a basic template in place by the time they set to work on their third album. With Johnette Napolitano on vocals and bass and former Sparks bassist James Mankey on guitar, plus a succession of drummers, Concrete Blonde cooked up a sweetly sulfurous blend of goth, punk, and alternative rock, shot through with Napolitano’s knack for indelible hooks… read more >