Remember the good ol’ nineties? When acts like Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr. and even the grunge kids like Nirvana and Pearl Jam ruled not only the airwaves, but also the creative commons of guitar rock? Melbourne three-piece Iowa do, and they’re not afraid to show it.
Never Saw It Coming will bring both a sly grin and a satisfactory smile to anyone who once rocked flannel without irony. ‘Panic Attack’ and ‘A.M.’ buzz with guitar licks that double as melodic hooks the way Smashing Pumpkins or Sebadoh’s tunes used to. ‘Panic Attack’ genuinely sounds like an offcut from Pearl Jam’s Vs.
It would be difficult to discuss the appeal of Iowa’s sound, let alone existence, without these references. But there’s nothing derivative about their take on the traditional rock format. Displaying a genuine love for, and approach to, a golden era of guitar rock as seriously as you’d expect of a band dead-cert on releasing their debut album on coloured vinyl.