I’ve stumbled across so many ads for unremembered bands in my journeys that I barely notice them unless they feature some vaguely familiar artist or evoke some odd bit of historical resonance.
This 1990 pitch for Tales Like These by The Wild Flowers fell into the latter camp.
It caught my eye because of its attempt to present demographic bracketing as a more significant virtue than, say, musical talent. They might as well have named themselves “Goldilocks’ Porridge.”
“We’re neither sad has-beens or ephemeral superstars! We simply exist!”
It fascinates me because it could be seen as a test build for the generational marketing on the horizon, thick-fingered fumbling towards the concept of “Gen X” as a lucrative brand. Forget those laughable acts pitched towards your parents or your kid sister — these dudes get you, or so the pitch would have you believe.
It took me a few minutes (and a quick internet search) to realize these were the very same Wild Flowers (save a change of guitarist) who released The Joy of It All during the dying days of the British postpunk scene. It was a decent, if generic, bit of early 1980s mope rock, but the band’s desire to break into the American market led to a deal with Slash records and not a whole lot else.
After listening to the title track from Tales Like These….
…I can say — with absolute certainty — that The Church’s Starfish album was a friggin’ masterpiece.