Saturday, June 22, 2013

REVISITED: Rodan - Fifteen Quiet Years

Rodan's heavy guitar rock (post-rock, math rock? or just ROCK) was part of the Louisville alternative music scene that spawned some of the best and most important bands of the late 80's/early 90's post punk era. Having followed the scene after discovering Squirrel Bait (part of me still hopes they have another album or some undiscovered music out there somewhere), I discovered that a lot of its members (fans and bands alike) held Rodan and its album Rusty and a small fortune in limited release singles and 7" records in high esteem... and with good reason. And though Rodan wasn't around all that long, there is undiscovered music and, fortunately for us, it's been released in the form of this new compilation Fifteen Quiet Years. Here's a link to stream "Shiner".

And just for fun, here's an old video of them from Athens' 40 Watt Club in 1994:

This album includes a 1994 BBC Peel session, together with all of Rodan's long-out-of-print 7"s and compilation tracks. In 2009, Bob Weston, Jeff Mueller and Jason Noble lovingly re-mastered the tracks at Chicago Mastering Service. 

Rodan sowed plenty of seeds throughout subsequent music history: Jeff Mueller went on to play guitar and sing in the highly influential and well loved group June Of 44, and subsequently in The Shipping News. Jason Noble played bass in the classical-leaning Rachel's, as well as in The Shipping News. Tara Jane O'Neil sang and played guitar in The Sonora Pine, as well as the duo Retsin. Subsequent to the breakup of The Sonora Pine in 1998, Tara Jane began a solo career as TJO. Kevin Coultas also played drums in Rachel's and The Sonora Pine. On August 4, 2012, Jason Noble lost a three year battle with cancer and passed away at the all-too-young age of 40. On February 9, 2013, Jon Cook also passed away. 

It's a great time to look back at this very special period, and very special place, in the history of US indie rock. Louisville is rightly proud to have spawned all these great and influential bands, and Rodan belongs in the top echelon. You can read more, check out another song and buy it at Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records.

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