When you load up Spotify, a great big chunk of the time you can’t think what to play, right? You default back to your old favourites, those albums and songs you played on repeat when you first discovered you could make them yours.
This isn’t about guilty pleasures; it’s about those songs you’ll still be listening to when you’re old and in your rocking chair. So, enter Teenage Kicks - a playlist series that sees bands running through the music they listened to in their formative years.
Next up, Robert John Lee from Pulled Apart By Horses.
I'm about to show my age here, but I was privileged to be a teenager during the 90s. It wasn't as easy to find out about music back then, so I missed out on a lot, but looking back, it was a magical time for music.
Nirvana - Aneurysm
Nirvana is probably the main influence that we share in PABH. We were all fans from an early age. I was actually only 10 when I first heard Nirvana, and it instantly changed me. I continued to listen to them obsessively through my teens and still do. They were the band that made me think maybe I could pick up a guitar and make some noise. Especially when I heard the 'Incesticide' album, which has some rougher cuts on there. We still play a cover of 'Aneurysm' in the set sometimes.
Pearl Jam – Rearviewmirror
In my early teens, I was obsessed with the whole idea of the Seattle scene. I'd seen some of it briefly on TV and in magazines. It seemed like this whole other world that was happening somewhere else. I kind of lost interest after the third or fourth album, but this song really stirred something in me.
Smashing Pumpkins – Zero
Before streaming, we would swap CDs or tapes. We didn't have enough cash to buy everything we wanted, so one kid would be the Metallica guy, and then there was a girl who had loads of Blur albums. A friend of mine managed to buy all the Pumpkins albums, and of course, the earlier ones are the best. So he let me hang on to this for a while. I mainly just played this song on repeat.
Urge Overkill – Tequila Sundae
Another way of finding music would be to dig through boxes of vinyl at second-hand markets or charity shops. Vinyl was pretty cheap back then because it was all about CDs. I found this on orange vinyl, and it was £2.
Sex Pistols – Pretty Vacant
They re-released this on 12" in the early 90s, and I found it on another one of my junk shop hunts. At first, I thought it was an original old punk album, but when I got it home, I realised it was only a couple of years old. I played that single to death and learned the guitar parts by dropping the needle on certain parts over and over again. To this day, that riff sounds so vital.
Sultans of Ping F.C. – Where's Me Jumper?
I was never a fan of the band, but when I was 16, I joined a punk three-piece called PYG. We were all from different schools, so we used to put these gigs on in the back rooms of pubs and fill them out with our mates. We played a cover of this song, and every time it would erupt into chaos with all these teens on alcopops and cheap lager going mental.
Super Furry Animals – God Show Me Magic
They seemed to be on tour constantly, and they would play in Sheffield a lot where I grew up. The later albums are very eclectic and chilled, but those early gigs were insane. This track was always a crowd surfer. My skinny teenage frame would be thrown on top of the crowd whether I liked it or not.
Nirvana – On A Plain
Yes, more Nirvana. I can't explain how important they are to me. I had all the albums on tape, and I would constantly be on the hunt for 7" singles. I actually bought In-Utero first on a pirate tape from outside Sheffield market. It was hard to find Nevermind. It had sold out everywhere. But when I finally got a copy of it, I had this Walkman with a little case, and I took that tape everywhere with me. 'Teen Spirit' was just an intro track, really. To me, 'On A Plain' was like the real story. I found it hypnotic and kind of meditative; I would just sink into it.
Taken from the October issue of Upset. Pulled Apart By Horses' album 'Reality Cheques' is out 30th September.
Featuring The Wonder Years, Parkway Drive, Death Cab For Cutie and more.