Strum & Thrum: The American Jangle Underground 1983-1987

Tuesday, January 12th, 2021


Various Artists
Strum & Thrum: The American Jangle Underground 1983-1987
Captured Tracks

Jan 11, 2021
Web Exclusive

By Frank Valish

“What if the U.S. had a compilation like C86?,” asks Strum & Thrum curator and Captured Tracks label founder Mike Sniper in his introduction to this double album of lost American underground tracks. Attempting to bridge the gap between early ’80s post punk and the indie rock that emerged at the tail end of the 1980s, Strum & Thrum highlights 28 lost classics from this limbo time in American indie music, and the exhaustive 85-page oral history included here will give you more than enough of a history lesson. These aren’t bands that had radio exposure. They are not bands that even saw much cult success. A few later indie “stars” emerged from the groups in this collection—Velvet Crush’s Ric Menck (The Reverbs), Barbara Manning (28th day), Magnapop’s Linda Hopper (Holiday). But while these are largely unknowns, Strum & Thrum makes a compelling case for the brilliant underground music made between ’83 and ’87, music that lives in its melodic pop glory, even if it was on the edges of anything commercial during its time in the sun. Essential listening for any indie rock fan. (

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