Sunday, August 10, 2014

Forgotten Bands Of The 90s-Possum Dixon

There are many stories of bands having a good following and getting noticed enough to be taken up by a major label and then being taken advantaged of.  It's a long list and you can add Possum Dixon to this.

Their unique kind of no wave new wave music of the early 90s come from a wide array of influences from Talking Heads to the Violet Femmes to even Weezer, who's first album had the same sound style of the first Possum Dixon album.  Quirky is the best way to describe it.  The first album contained their one big hit Watch The Girl Destroy Me but once again, their indifferent record label Interscope didn't even bother to issue a second single from their album.  Nerves in my ears should have been the second single issued.  Most of the album is alt rock done fairly well, they even dab into No Wave with John Struck Lucy which could play as a Suicide (the band) tribute.  But as for myself I enjoy the more hooky numbers (Regina, Pharmaceutical Itch)

Nevertheless this band got doomed by Interscope even more so on Star Maps, an album that took three years to complete to which at that time all momentum from Watch The Girl Destroy Me was gone.  A more darker album than the S/T  Rob Zabrecky's wife who suffered from depression killed herself as well.  As an album the songs were better heard in that context, none of the songs were deemed single worthy for the radio but my faves remain Crashing Your Party and Go West. The almost 8 minute long Apartment Song plays intense but never really breaks out of that slow beat crawl, like a killer awaiting for a victim but never goin through the deed.  Even with major label indifference, the 75,000 sales sold of the first album, the band never broke past 5,000 on the second and it bombed.

A change in producers and sound brought Possum Dixon into total confusion with New Sheets in 1998. Ric Ocasek (The Cars) came in to produce and updated the sound.  Problem was the new sound got the band to sound like The Cars.  Holding was picked for a single and although it got some airplay on the underground radio station it didn't hit the charts.  Myself I think it was a slight improvement over Star Maps but since New Sheets was being compared too much to The Cars and not toward the Violet Femmes, the band had enough of major label incompetence and they called it a day a month after the release of New Sheets.  Rob Zabrecky has gone on to a acting career and being a magician  Celso Chavez passed away in 2012.

Like their alt rock compares The Buck Pets, Possum Dixon could have been big had their record label promoted them better.  But in the end, Weezer got the recognition, And The Possum guys ended up being another footnote in the history of alt rock.

The history of what could have been.


Possum Dixon (Interscope 1993) B+
Star Maps (Interscope 1996) B
New Sheets (Interscope 1998) B 

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