100 for 2000 – #9. Picture A Hum, Can’t Hear A Sound

To end another wonderful decade of great music, I’m going to write about ten albums from each of the last ten years, that are either great, or hold some sort of personal significance. A musical kiss off to 00s.

2000 – #9. 78 Saab – Picture A Hum, Can’t Hear A Sound
(Ivy League)

The coolest label in Australia at this time was Ivy League Records. This was before the Vines broke and the company changed. They had a stable of young guitar bands, who loved melody and experimentation, mostly hailing from Canberra. 78 Saab was by far the biggest band on the label in those early days. Picture A Hum, Can’t Hear A Sound was their first album.

I’m not sure how the guys met, or how the band got started, but I thought they were pretty great. They had this great EP out, Hello Believers, and a couple of songs on radio. By the end of ‘99, they had a pretty big hit (in alternative circles) with a song called ‘Sunshine’. It was dreamy, psych pop – a bit of a departure for them. It was the soundtrack to that millennium summer. I still think of that summer when I hear that song.

I would never miss a 78 Saab gig. Partly though, I was going out to see bands almost very night of week, and catching all the support bands as well. I even got to know the guys, I’m sure we must have done a show with them at some point. But that would be years later. At this time, I was a follower.

And it’s important to remember because so many have forgotten. I can barely find an image for the album online. No-one listens to this album according to Last.fm. But I have friends who would spend every weekend in Newtown catching an Ivy League band. And that time was important to us.

Debut albums are so exciting – the promise of a new band. 78 Saab had that. Sure, they had catchy pop with songs such as Like It Was Before. Then, at some gig, they’d debut Sunshine. Then, a later gig, the great, great Smile (best track on the album). Karma Package Deal was their best rock song so far. Two even greater, country influenced ballads – Jack Frost and Don’t Know Much – promised more.

That’s the thing. You’d listen to each song and think – wow, there is more of this to come.

There was more, but it didn’t come quickly. For whatever reason, the next album was delayed, as was the album after that. They stayed well respected amongst musicians, but they never broke through. By then, the Vines and Jet had changed the game anyway.

Advertisements