TITLE: Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
YEAR RELEASED: 1994
CHART ACTION: #121 US, #15 UK
SINGLES: Cut Your Hair (#10 US Modern Rock, #52 UK), Haunt You Down, Gold Soundz (#94 UK), Range Life (#79 UK)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Nothing but the singles for airplay.
LINEUP: Stephen Malmkus, Scott Kannberg, Mark Ibold, Steve West, Bob Nastanovich
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: The band grows, the songs become relatively poppier, but Pavement is still weird. It’s just the weirdness is left for many of the deep cuts. The music industry is a target for many tracks.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Pavement became a lo-fi phenomenon in 1993, so when they released this second album they concentrated on including popper songs on some of the album, while still featuring the off-kilter construction and overall weirdness of Pavement.
Having a full time band helps as well, as they play together well and allow Malmkus and Kannberg to focus on the arrangements without worrying about playing almost everything themselves. The band has a sixth sense and can work with the songs and interesting tonality and structures.
This put Pavement in the mainstream, with “Cut Your Hair” still being played quite a bit, and “Range Life” a shout out / put down of the bands in the current scene that may have been more blatantly careerist than lovable slackers like them.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: The lead cut was known forever as “Silence Kit”, but that was due to bad printing on the back of the CD booklet. It’s actually “Silence Kid”.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, a 49-cut behemoth with plenty of B-sides, BBC sessions and live cuts.
GRADE: A-: Some cuts are just weird for being weird, but this is a pretty great alternative album that has even aged well.