Let's take a minute to talk about one of my favorite bands of all time - the gone but by no means forgotten [by some of us, anyways] Geneva.
One of the many, many quality bands signed to the Nude label in the UK in its lifetime - I say the best band they had, but there are many Suede fans who would argue with that - Geneva only put out two albums in its short time with us. But what albums they are!
1997 debut "Further" is very of it's time, but also has that certain something that makes it stand out from the pack. On one hand, it's your standard indie guitar album. On the other hand, there's something that ebbs and flows with it that gives it a feel all it's own, that makes it very, very special. The four singles pulled from it - oh, how I miss the '90's single culture - were all incredible, of course, and I'd never be able to pick a favorite. 'No One Speaks' is heartbreaking, 'Into the Blue' is life-affirming [it has a slight edge in being the one that introduced me to them], 'Tranquillizer' has a killer hook, and 'Best Regrets' just soars. The album's other 8 tracks all equal the singles - not all are single material, but all stand tall next to their fellow album tracks.
And the packaging! The cover image of the tree in the middle of the field is striking. The singles are even better - all in die-cut double card sleeves, the packagings of the 2 double CD singles ['Tranquillizer' and its chess pieces and 'Best Regrets' with its flower] add up to make one image. Just gorgeous - they truly speak to the special music contained within. The album had a whopping 15 b-sides to go with it's 12 album tracks - again, miss the '90's single culture - and all of them once again equal the a-side they appeared with.
I saw them in 1997 open for Catherine Wheel on their "Adam and Eve" tour. One of the best double bills I've ever seen. At the time, I was only just getting familiar with "Further", but the show is what made me explore it more. I wish they had come over to the US for their second album.
[On a side note, I've often thought of how I saw the two bands that I miss the most - Geneva and Catherine Wheel - on one bill. They were also touring with Feline, who I don't really miss all that much. In fact, outside of that night I don't think I've ever heard or heard of Feline.]
Speaking of, "Weather Underground" still stands as one of the 00's greatest albums...even though no one paid any attention. We sadly only got 2 singles from it - the rockin' [for them, at least] 'Dollars in the Heavens' and the gorgeous 'If You Have To Go' - before Nude ran into financial problems, which I believe led to the beginning of the end for Geneva. I distinctly remember having a dream that 'Killing Stars' was released as the third single and I had gotten my Action Records package in the mail containing them. Anyways...
The album is their masterpiece, and for my money the greatest album released on the Nude label. An album entirely concerned with technology and its effects on humanity, yet one with a heart beating beneath it making it very human. The first time I heard it, I swore I would never need to buy another album as nothing was going to match it. Obviously that didn't stick, but I do still feel that this is a very, very special album and it is criminal that it is so overlooked. Seriously - hunt down 'Have You Seen The Horizon Lately?' and tell me it's not light years ahead of it's time and one of the greatest songs of the decade. A-m-a-z-i-n-g.
Andrew went on to Amityville for a short period of time and is now focused on St Famous - who apparently now have a record deal and will be putting out their debut in the Fall. Both projects are great - really, they are - but there's still a special place in my heart for Geneva.
I get sad thinking about them not being with us anymore.
'If You Have To Go':
This song still breaks my heart. So gorgeous.