If you weren’t around ora conscious while Carissa’s Wierd was around, here is what you need to know: they were cool and depressing, in that flannel and bad beer Seattle-movie-stereotype kind of way, but not ironic like the hipsters like to swing it these days. That, and nobody knew about them.
Since the break-up, Grant released two albums — 1999’s Sadstyle and 2004’s Puking And Crying. In honor of the 10-year anniversary of Sadstyle, it was remixed and remastered, with a handful of unreleased tracks and demo versions of songs, in a cleaner quality than the original recordings. Other than that, the only real difference is in the new additions.
Track seven, “So You Wanna Be A Rockstar,” is one of the unreleased songs, mixing painful lyrics with gloomy, driving guitarwork, layered to sound much bigger than one woman and one set of hands — a common attribute to Grant’s work. “Sure, I’d Love One” is lower, with guitar at the higher end of the spectrum. Lastly, there’s a demo version of “5 Dollars,” which appears much more polished on Puking And Crying, so aside from seeing how it started, it’s not that great to listen to.
The album as a whole — and really, all of Grant’s solo work — feels dark and desperate, in a more broken down way than Carissa’s Wierd did. Grant’s voice is more in the forefront, putting more emphasis on the interplay between guitar and voice. If you already have the original Sadstyle, there’s not a ton you’d be missing if you passed this one up. Nonetheless, it’s a great intro to S if you missed the boat the first time around and is most definitely a solid listen.