I wrapped up my Best tunes of 1992 list back in January, amidst a month chock full of 1990s goodness, and though I’ve continued on with my Best albums of 1991 series through February, it’s been spread out. So it’s March now, you must be ready for some more 90s tunes now, right? Of course! So let’s get this Best tunes of 1993 list started with a real rocker!
Jean-Guy “John” Kastner conceived the Doughboys in Montreal, Quebec after leaving his three year post fronting the hardcore punk band, The Asexuals, in 1987. Through the group’s original ten year run, Kastner was the only real constant, his supporting cast at times included Scott McCulloch (who would leave to form Rusty), Jonathan Cummins (who would later play with Treble Charger, Bionic, and The Besnard Lakes), and a host of other musicians from the Montreal and Toronto alt-rock music scenes.
Leading up to 1990, the Doughboys released three excellent pop/punk albums on a couple of independent labels and then, they got caught up in the wave of major label signings of alternative acts instigated by the explosion of Nirvana and the Seattle grunge scene. I very quickly grew tired of these bands cast in the grunge mould that were all of a sudden flooding the alternative airwaves. I found a lot of them too derivative, and that was likely the fault of big business music execs, but there were some, like the Doughboys, who were worthy of this newly found success.
I remember first hearing today’s single, “Shine”, on the radio and found the rip roaring guitars infectious. It didn’t take me long to connect the song, when I learned who performed it, to an album I had on cassette on the recommendation of a friend. Doughboys’ second album, 1989’s “Home again”, was one of the aforementioned indie releases and was a tape I would put in the player whenever I wanted to release some of pent-up teen angst. The great thing about the Doughboys was that there wasn’t a lot of that original energy lost on their 1993 major label debut, “Crush”. It was all there, no compromise and no quit, just with better production and a bigger budget. The band would only go on to release one other album, 1996’s “Turn me on”, but both of these two major label releases saw success in Canada, especially on alternative and college radio.
In fact, today’s song was used by MuchMusic, along with Jane’s Addiction’s “Stop” and Depeche Mode’s “I feel you”, for the opening of its weekday afternoon alternative show, “The Wedge”. “Shine” is all driving guitars that alternate between quiet rage and all out crunchiness. It riffs and rocks for just over two and half minutes while Kastner sings melodically about how the object of his affection makes him feel like gold. I can only imagine the pogoing and moshing that must’ve gone on when these guys roared through this one live back then.
For the rest of the Best tunes of 1993 list, click here.