Their 3rd record hit during the spring of 1995, but I thought it was their first. “Stars” blew up that summer. I was obsessed by the fall. I had their 2nd release, Electra 2000, shortly after. I purchased it at Newbury Comics in Boston when I was at UHA that fall. It was a band that spoke to me both in it’s space & science lyrics as well as the sonic boom it made both musically and acoustically. I got to see them the summer 1995. (The) Verve was headlining. It was my only original 930 Club show. But it was awesome. And fucking loud. Orange and HiWatt amps really know how to produce loud masses of decibels. Sadly, after their 4th record, they sorta crumbled. I guess partially because RCA didn’t know how to correctly market them to radio and perhaps because they said all they had to say. Bummer. These guys really had something going. Drop-D shoegaze is good stuff. And yet another awesome band from Chicago. There hasn’t been a band in this vein that has captured their loud intense power while retaining a sort of majestic quality with incredible melody. If there has, I want to know about them.
- Winder (Electra 2000) – Quite possibly my favorite Hum song, ever. A perfect album closer, if I may add. I love how there are 2 verses and the chorus is instrumental. Live (and even here,) this song will bore a hole through your body. In addition, this song spoke to me lyrically. I guess it’s how many lost college kids feel in some way or another.
I'm just a white guy from the future, I'm completely out of touch.
- Ms. Lazarus (The Pod single) – This b-side version was considered a demo. I like this much better than the more polished album version for some reason. Maybe it’s the slightly faster tempo.
- Why I Like The Robins (You’d Prefer An Astronaut) – It’s a song in 6/8 that really rocks it. Astronaut was my jam when I’d travel from BDL to BWI in college. And it was perfect, from the minute they allowed CD players after takeoff to the minute you were required to shut it off. 45:47. Genius.
- Hello Kitty (Hello Kitty 7″)
- Green To Me (Downward Is Heavenward) – The shining star of the record. Mark Rubel from Pogo Studios done well.
- The Pod (You’d Prefer An Astronaut) – The drums are huge and that’s ok by me.
- Suicide Machine (You’d Prefer An Astronaut) – This song took forever for me to start liking it. But it finally hit me, recently. I seem to remember always passing above the clouds at this point in my travels. It fit the scene perfectly. Keith Cleversly (The Flaming Lips, The Posies, Mercury Rev, etc) produced Astronaut and it couldn’t have been a more perfect marriage.
- Boy With Stick (Stars single) – Somehow Hum does a 7/8 song that sludges it way to heaven. Sometimes I hear a little Dinosaur Jr. in this cut. I love when Matt Talbott’s vocals are just below the mix. Check out the hits at 5:06. Stellar.
- Double Dip (Electra 2000) – I could never tell what was up with the drummer on this record. I don’t know if it was Brad Wood’s production. I doubt, because he’s a pretty able producer. But I feel the bass drum wasn’t compressed enough or the pedal was too damn tight. Regardless the bass drum is funky and slightly ahead of the beat throughout the record. But it’s still a great cut. A great warm-up for Winder. The fade-in squelch in your left channel at 4:06 kicks it.
- Isle Of The Cheetah (Downward Is Heavenward) – If anyone can count this time signature, I’d be grateful. I hear 6/8 and 5/8 and 2/4. And combinations thereof.
PS. You might notice I have nothing here from their first record, Fillet Show. While I feel it’s a decent first effort, I feel there are no really great tunes on it. I also feel they were a completely different band then.