Seattle must have been one hell of a place to live in the late 80s. Before grunge music exploded into popularity in the early 90s, the whole grunge movement was just a bunch of local punk bands playing $5 shows and putting out records that (for the time) would never be distributed anywhere outside 5 miles of the city. It makes me wonder what other music movements could have been if other cities had such a prosperous music scene.
Rehab Doll is the first and only full length LP by Green River before their demise that very same year. All they were was a punk band that was able to put out their music thanks to Sub-Pop, which had just started up and gave local talent the opportunity to sell their music. Possibly the most publicity that this band ever got was being included in the 1986 compilation Deep Six, various Sub-Pop compilations, and being showcased in the 1996 documentary Hype!, which chronicled the music scene of Seattle.
The music is not like the grunge to come out of the 90s through the mainstream record companies because this stuff is grimy, distorted, and raw. The recording is great, and it feels like they're playing in the same room as you. There are tiny imperfections in it, which gives it the interesting quality of human error that's inevitable with music. It's not polished until it's perfect, so it's easier music to identify with.
Although it's not an album I play very often, Rehab Doll is a pretty nostalgic album for me, to be quite honest. It was one of the albums I came across while trying to find my musical identity many years ago. Interestingly enough, the real aspect of Rehab Doll, that makes it so classic, isn't as much the music, but the history around it. It's not a record by a world-famous mainstream band; rather, it's just an album made by a bunch of people who make music in a garage or play in a club.
B. W. Everett, 10/06/12
1. Forever Means
2. Rehab Doll
3. Swallow My Pride
4. Together We'll Never
5. Smiling and Dyin'
7. Take a Dive
8. One More Snitch