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Who? Curiously, 1986 draw their inspiration from the raw, unrefined rock of the ’70s rather than the glammy, indulgent tunes of the decade that followed. The unabashedly retro-leaning band — Giorgio Angelini (vocals/guitar), Drew Pennebaker (bass), Cully Symington (drums) — got help from Jeff Pinkus of Butthole Surfers on their debut EP and hired Mark Deutron of the Melvins to produce their debut full-length, Nihilism is Nothing to Worry About.

What’s the Deal? Led by Angelini’s droning vocals that seem to have been recorded on vinyl, through a telephone, and under water, 1986’s power pop is decidedly raw and refreshingly under-produced. “Better When You’re Stoned,” which could double as an anti-drug P.S.A. (“You think things will get better but they don’t / You think you’ll feel so much better when you’re stoned”), highlights Angelini’s lazily rolling vocals, which are perked up with jagged barroom harmonies. “Mechanical Dreams” places the focus squarely on Symington’s racing drums and crashing cymbals while Angelini’s barked vocals go along for the ride.

Fun Fact: Angelini was almost a movie star! The singer attended Wes Anderson’s high school, which was also the set for the film Rushmore. Thinking he wasn’t going to get a callback for a part he auditioned for (the casting agent wanted to use actual students from St. John’s), Angelini went on a church trip in an effort to get a girl he’d been crushing on. Turns out, he did get a call back and missed it while he was away.

Now Hear This: 1986 – “Laughing” (Download MP3) 1986 – “Better When You’re Stoned” (Download MP3)

Talk: Are you worried you’re nihilistic? COMMENT

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