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Drop Nineteens

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Boston, MA's the Drop Nineteens were one of America's contributions to England's shoegazer movement. In the late '80s and early '90s, the U.K. fell under the spell of young bands that stared blankly at the ground while they played layers of blurry, dissonant riffs with timid vocals that faded in and out of the mix. Taking inspiration from the genre's most celebrated icons, My Bloody Valentine and Lush, the Drop Nineteens immediately penetrated college-radio airwaves with their 1992 debut album, Delaware. Formed by Greg Ackell (vocals, guitar), Paula Kelley (vocals, guitar), Steve Zimmerman (bass), and Motohiro Yasue (guitar), the Drop Nineteens were also informed by the loud-soft formula of fellow Bostonians the Pixies. The group was initially welcomed with a critical buzz that elevated them to next-big-thing status, but it was another band on Caroline Records, the Smashing Pumpkins, that ended up at the top of the pops. (Not surprisingly, the Drop Nineteens had a larger following in shoegazer-loving England.) Unhappy with the group, Kelley left the Drop Nineteens in 1993, and she was replaced by Megan Gilbert (vocals, guitar). Shortly thereafter, the Drop Nineteens released their second full-length, National Coma, and then broke up in 1994. Kelley later led Hot Rod and Boy Wonder. ~ Michael Sutton


1991 in Boston, MA

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