This is a story about neighbors.
It was the summer of 2002 and I was living in the small mountain college town of Boone, North Carolina. During the summer, most of the students would journey home, and the only people left were locals and the the drove of Georgians/Floridians who descended upon the area like ravenous locusts to vacation in their multi-million dollar summer homes.
I, however, was living in a cheap apartment not far from "downtown." It was your average low-rent student apartment. But this apartment came with something I'd never had before. A cool neighbor.
I lucked out and ended up with the best neighbor I've ever had. His name was Seth and he worked at the local snowboard shop, which means he did absolutely nothing. He was like the older brother I never had. He never complained when I would ask him to buy beer for my friends and I, and he unsuccessfully attempted to sleep with every single girl that came over to my apartment.
He would inevitably wander across our shared deck when I had a party, get miserably drunk, and strike out with every unassuming co-ed there. Multiple times. Apparently the line, "I can get you free clothes whenever you want if you come by the shop," doesn't work so well when you have vomit on your shoes and urine dribble on your jeans. Not to be deterred, he would systematically move on to the next girl, no matter how disinterested, sober, or far out of his league she was. It was all part of his "shoot high/aim low" philosophy.
Seth was a good guy though and all we did that summer was drink beer, cook out and listen to music. He was sort of like the Socrates of snow bums and was always kicking me knowledge that was questionable at best. He was the first person to introduce me to Modest Mouse ("Dude, they're not just for indie rock p***ies"), and also dropped this album, Handsome, on me.
We were drinking MGD ("Seriously dude, it's the best domestic beer available, hands down") and eating cheap ribs when Helmet's Meantime queued up in my CD changer. Being a few years older than I was, Seth was even more sentimental about the 90's than I am and was overjoyed. He immediately ran across the deck to his apartment and brought back an album by a band named Handsome. He then demanded that I listen to it because it had changed his life or something. After that, he proceeded to get catastrophically drunk and completely forgot he loaned it to me.
I loved it. Beyond the horrible name and equally awful album artwork was a good band. Handsome was formed from members of Quicksand, Helmet and Jets to Brazil back in the late 90's. Basically they were a supergroup of modestly successful 90's rock bands. The music is similiar to Helmet, but not as "riffy". Jeremy Chaterlain's vocals also make them more dynamic than Helmet or Quicksand. They were only around for a year or two and released this one album, but this is good stuff. It's a 90's time capsule of hard rock (it's not metal, I swear) that still holds up today.
Wherever you are Seth, I want to thank you and Miller Genuine Draft for turning me on to this record and then forgetting that you let me borrow it.
presented by mxmcty