I don't know what happened, but for the last week all I've been listening to is The Weakerthans. Mostly from their first two albums: FALLOW (1999) and the essential LEFT AND LEAVING (2000). It's one of those moments where one of the needles in the haystack of your iTunes library gets pulled up on shuffle and you realize, hey, this was a pretty great song, I should put this album on my queue.
I was 13 years old when they came out, so I didn't get to examine them in their time. I can't even pinpoint when I did finally get into LEFT AND LEAVING. I know that "Watermark" was one of those songs my sister played and thus was part of this familiar background music. It would have been sometime in college that I found the whole album to be my shit, and I only picked up all of FALLOW during this most recent kick.
They're a little dated, definitely the kind of 90's power chord music that isn't really around anymore. Coupled with John Samson's timeless opie voice, it's music that would sound right at home as the intro music to a 90's teen romance flick - EMPIRE RECORDS or 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU. Something with Freddie Prinze Jr. I feel like this type of music became unfashionable after Blink-182 and their also-rans rushed through the scene. Today the style would be to let the guitars breathe a little more, with echo and space, a sound that is harder to pin down. But I can't imagine a romp like "Aside" with anything less than these driving guitars. It's become part of the charm, like 90's nostalgia or retro trappings.