The Year in Rush Part 8: Reflecting on the Alternative

by Dr. Spin

In the 90s, the password was “alternative” – a music category that represented a shift in ideology rather than in style. In the years during and after Nirvana’s popularity this term was repurposed and widened by the music press to promote the heavier sounds of bands like Pearl Jam and Soundgarden. When these grunge bands started to hit the airwaves it was apparent, at least to me, that a generation musicians raised on the fiery riffs of 2112 were finally assuming control.

Still, there was an inexplicable stigma that went along with being a Rush fan during the 90s.  I remained loyal, but I harbored a secret hope that the band might find inspiration in this wave of overdriven guitars and thunderous drums and go for a more vintage sound. I was nothing short of elated when the Carlos Casteneda book I was reading on the job as a bowling alley pin boy was interrupted by the dissonant riffing of…find out at the Pharmacy

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