• Gladstones
  • Jeremy (Tall) 1990 

This Nebraska quartet offers the exact elements that people who used the term “college rock” as a pejorative by the mid-to-late-’80s were thinking of: jangly, arpeggiated guitar lines lifted directly from Murmur, a hint of Morrissey in the vocals, a toothless rhythm section. The Gladstones are painfully earnest even at their most obtuse, and their material sounds like songs the Connells threw away because they weren’t catchy enough. They occasionally come up with a neat atmospheric bit, like the vocal harmonies on “Garden,” but the material is so slight that it absolutely disappears when the tone arm moves back to the rest position. The fact that they were peddling this long-since-clichéd sound as late as 1990 is probably at the top of the fairly long list of reasons they were ignored.

[Jon Harrison]

See also: For Against