Scattered Pearls is a new series in which people are asked to write about bands they love that didn’t quite scale the heights their talent deserved. Each Sunday, a new writer will take some time to discuss an artist with you, today being the turn of Steve Carlton, also known as ukulele wielding Labrador records lover Jam on Bread.
My love of Volcano, I’m Still Excited!! is tinged with sadness, really. By the time I ‘discovered’ them they’d already vanished into thin air, with only a 5.5 review from Pitchfork to show for all their hard work. I’ve never met anyone else that likes them, either. All very upsetting stuff, innit?
Regardless of all that, I like them a lot. Their self-titled debut album is one of the few CDs that survived my difficult ‘I-need-to-sell-all-my-cds-to-survive’ period and now sits proudly on a bookshelf with the Offspring and Less Than Jake CDs that Vinyl Exchange refused to buy off me.
Volcano, I’m Still Excited!! is full of amazing power pop songs like ‘In Green’ and ‘2nd Gun’ and often makes me feel like doing some kind of running fist pumping action if I’m listening to it while I’m out and about. ‘Two Exclamation Points’ manages to be rousing and anthemic despite the fact that the only words are the band’s name repeated ad nauseum. A couple of the other tracks seem a bit pointless when played out of context, but when listening to the record all the way through their inclusion kind of makes sense in the grand scheme of things.
I suppose Volcano, I’m Still Excited!! inspire me a little bit. They were just three blokes mucking around with what little musical ability they had, yet they managed to record an album that, in my eyes at least, is a really heartfelt piece of work that I’ll always cherish, no matter how desperately I need to flog my CD collection.
Steve Carlton has recently released his debut album as Jam On Bread. Titled ‘A Railcard Adventure’, it’s been a few years in the making, and pretty much makes up for all those days spent idly flicking through the few tracks available on his MySpace player and wishing he’d play more gigs. It features artwork by Sparky Deathcap, and it’s pretty much the most understated release you’ll stumble across this year.