13 Songs, 33 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Delivering on the promise of singer Black Francis’ classified ad seeking a bassist “into Hüsker Dü and Peter, Paul and Mary,” Surfer Rosa contrasted the visceral attack of punk and hardcore with the prettiness of pop and folk, resulting in songs (“Gigantic,” “River Euphrates,” “Where Is My Mind?”) as strange as they were pleasurable. Despite their arty slant, there was something scrappy, almost ordinary about the band that only made the mystery deeper: These weren’t the delicate transmissions of celestial beings but the weirdo racket of a nearby garage. What emerged was a new kind of American Gothic: Beautiful, harsh, funny, and perverted—a sound that reshaped indie rock for Nirvana, the '90s, and beyond.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Delivering on the promise of singer Black Francis’ classified ad seeking a bassist “into Hüsker Dü and Peter, Paul and Mary,” Surfer Rosa contrasted the visceral attack of punk and hardcore with the prettiness of pop and folk, resulting in songs (“Gigantic,” “River Euphrates,” “Where Is My Mind?”) as strange as they were pleasurable. Despite their arty slant, there was something scrappy, almost ordinary about the band that only made the mystery deeper: These weren’t the delicate transmissions of celestial beings but the weirdo racket of a nearby garage. What emerged was a new kind of American Gothic: Beautiful, harsh, funny, and perverted—a sound that reshaped indie rock for Nirvana, the '90s, and beyond.

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