photo & text by nacrowe
i always felt that there was a deep spiritual quality to the music of BLIND MELON. a big part of that was due to the free-spirited, ethereal nature of frontman SHANNON HOON and his preternatural ability to give off a feeling of unadulterated joy and wonder about life in his lyrics and in his voice.
the classic self-titled debut BLIND MELON (CAPITOL, 1992) record is a case in point, with tracks like "TONES OF HOME," "CHANGE" and of course "NO RAIN" showing off his emotional range. for what is largely pegged as an ALTERNATIVE ROCK outfit, their music itself feels more aligned to "jam bands" of the period like BLUES TRAVELER, PHISH and even DAVE MATHEWS BAND. the big difference is HOON, who is arguably one of the most charismatic frontman of the period. up there with LAYNE STALEY, CHRIS CORNELL, MIKE PATTON, EDDIE VEDDER, COURTNEY LOVE, SCOTT WEILAND and KURT COBAIN yet entirely a unique entity and feel unto himself. whereas those other "jam bands" in my opinion came off a bit too listless and technical for my taste, with HOON that meandering aural backdrop took on a more searching, INCORPOREAL quality that made it singularly TRANSCENDENT. when i think of him, its almost more along the lines of a shaman than a frontman. his passing has left a void that has yet to be filled to date.
like many kids of the period, my introduction to the band was "NO RAIN" and its genius music video which celebrated individualism and the need for INCLUSIVENESS and EMPATHY to one another. not exactly standard rock fair at the time. it also set the stage for the even more experimental and emotionally wrenching follow-up record SOUP (CAPITOL, 1995) which i hope to review someday after locating a cassette tape. both of those records are unquestionably required listening to get an idea of the full spectrum of flavors of ALTERNATIVE ROCK in the 1990s. it was great time for music.
RIP SHANNON. you are still remembered and dearly missed.
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