What a tough choice! After shortlisting 5 or 6 albums that I do actually like to listen to in order and in their entirety, I decided to opt for one that just plays through so seamlessly, each song seems to complement one another, and one that holds so many fond memories, that album is Nothing Feels Good by The Promise Ring.
I was 22, living in Newcastle when I first came across The Promise Ring. A friend of mine was putting a gig on at the Cumberland Arms, Newcastle in 1998 which so happened to be The Promise Ring and Jets To Brazil tour, I went along without any expectations and was blown away.
Since then, this album has stuck with me. I guess I listen to this with bit of nostalgia now, it brings back a hell of a lot of great memories from such a simpler time in my life. This was pre internet, social media, and even would you believe, mobile phones. The first time I heard it, I found it refreshing and different to any other college rock band I’d previously heard in the 90’s, with stellar songs such as Pink Chimneys, Is This Thing On, Perfect Lines and B Is For Bethlehem.
This genre was actually coined emo at the time along with Mineral, Jets To Brazil, American Football, Braid and so on… Although that term evolved into something completely different in the 00’s and it just doesn’t quite fit anymore, fundamentally it’s just good old college rock. These bands certainly weren’t doing anything new, Sunny Day Real Estate and even The Lemonheads blazed the trail much earlier in the 90’s but Nothing Feels Good felt fresh, with it’s poppy hooks and crisp sound this record has resonated with me for over 20 years.
There’s nothing better than placing the needle down on this, sitting on my balcony with a coffee in hand whilst catching up on emails, reviews and editing to the soundtrack of the late 90’s and my younger years.
Nothing Feels Good by The Promise Ring, 1997. Chosen by Photographer & Live Reviewer Mark Bromham