October 6, 2014
by Bryne Yancey

The tidal wave of nostalgia for all things 1990s doesn’t appear to be cresting anytime soon. The kids who grew up in that decade are now in their late twenties or early thirties, which is not coincidentally the exact period of one’s life in which nostalgia really begins to fester inside one’s brain. We perhaps aren’t quite old enough to really settle down, but we are old enough to carry cogent thoughts about the hazy-sounding records, grainy television shows and slovenly internet connections—and although we’re not that old, it’s the first time in our lives in which “I’m old” moments are more than just an occasional occurrence. We’re the last generation who vividly remember living without the engrossingly bright glow of the internet, without tiny computers in our pockets, without the endless, mindless refreshing of sites in search of some kind of connection, no matter how tenuous. We were the last generation to truly experience boredom without reprieve, darkness without screens. We had our media, our bad TV shows, our hand-made mixtapes, our scratched up CDs strewn across our bedroom floors. We had things. Which makes me wonder: What, exactly, will future generations be nostalgic about once they’re old enough to have some distance from and perspective about their collective upbringing? Nostalgia will certainly exist, but what form or forms will it take? Everything seems to move so quickly now that’s it’s impossible to predict. Will people be nostalgic about 1990s nostalgia itself in 20 years?

Athens, Ga.’s Cancers appear to be far more enthusiastically nostalgic for the 1990s than most. Their new record Fatten The Leeches (Kandy Kane/Dead Broke Rekerds) has not the hallmarks of the jangly, oversized t-shirt-wearing college rock that emanated from their hometown in the 1980s and into the ‘90s, but those of Seattle grunge, a supernova of creativity in rock music that to the final pre-internet generation, sounded like a completely different language at its height. The band recorded the album in Seattle, in fact, with Jack Endino, a producer perhaps more synonymous with 1990s grunge nostalgia than any other. His fingerprints give Fatten The Leeches a distinctly, nebulously live feel; on headphones it’s difficult to spot a lull in any of these songs. The band’s guitars, heavy, distorted, downtuned, blend perfectly with Ella Kaspar’s airy, dreamy vocals; the way the bass drum clicks and the snare pounds throughout this record is positively In Utero-esque.

Buy Cancers’ Fatten The Leeches on vinyl or cassette via Dead Broke Rekerds or digitally on Bandcamp.