Cub – Box of Hair

What I Think of When I Think of This Artist (part 3)

I often think I should make my own Best of compilations for every band I like. I think I could put together an excellent Cub retrospective. I also think I would be a good spin class instructor. My playlists would be awesome. I once abandoned a spin class because the instructor just cycled (hah) through a rotation of three playlists on burned CDs, and one of them was a “patriotic” mix full of country songs, including that piece of shit Lee Greenwood song. No way. No. Fucking. Way.

What I Think of This Album

Consistent with the imagery the title evokes, Box of Hair is a bit of a mess. Cub toughens their sound further, which does them no favors this time. The harder songs are uniformly negligible, even when the band throws in an additional treat, like the musical saw on the otherwise forgettable title track. Thus, tunes like the sludgy “One Last Kiss” and equally muddy “S.G.”, in addition to the well-meaning “Mom and Dad” and the snarling “Freaky,” clutter up an album that contains some great tracks.

The reasons to own this album include the sexually frank “Pillow Queen,” in which Lisa Marr boasts that she is a “good time girl,” “porno star,” and “whore” who wants to “take off this party dress / And go go go to bed for a thousand years” against a bouncy beat and Robynn Iwatta’s distorted chording. More innocent is the gentle “Magic 8 Ball,” a bright exploration of superstitions as predictors of love, complete with an understated accordion part courtesy of Dr. Rob Kozak. “Loaded” thrums along nicely, with a thick guitar/ bass sound that matches the drug theme well, while “Main and Broadway” is a wistful and self-loathing laced look back on lost love. Also, “Way to Go” lopes along pleasantly despite the questioning, hopeless lyrics sweetly sung by Iwata. The country feel reappears more explicitly on “Riverside,” a weepy ballad that is augmented by the violin of Sexy Pierre (that’s what the credits say – I am not editorializing). Someone co-wrote “Riverside” with Marr, but it’s unclear from the booklet who (their initials are S.C.). The one thrashy track that does work is the live version of “Not What You Think” with drummer Lisa G. shouting out the lyrics – it’s fun and goofy; another version of that song is the hidden track this time (not worth the wait).

This could’ve been a great album; I wish Cub had ended on a stronger note but they bowed out with at least three of their best songs here. Iwata went on to play in I Am Spoonbender, while Marr and Lisa G. decamped for Los Angeles and new band Buck.

The Best Thing About This Album

“Pillow Queen,” for it’s take-no-prisoners approach.

Release Date

1996

The Cover Art

Pretty much perfect. The angry kitten is aptly emblematic of Cub’s sound. This was designed by the band and Chantale Elena Doyle.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Proudly powered by WordPress | Theme: Baskerville 2 by Anders Noren.

Up ↑