Buttercup was a watershed moment for me. The first track on Shame by Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard’s side project Brad. I bought this album expecting one thing (it was going to sound like a Grunge Guitarist letting totally loose) and what I got was the complete opposite.
I was angry the first time I put on the record. Not because of the record itself. I’d had another in a long line of arguments with my other half of the time. We weren’t seeing eye to eye on a lot. We’d been up all night arguing and I thought some new noise would help calm me down. So I went back to my digs and put Shame on the stereo.
The mellow, spacious, soulful sound of Buttercup stopped me in my tracks. What a beautiful lilting refrain Stone Gossard plays when I expected downtuned sludge. The vocalist Shawn Smith has the most amazing voice. The band we’re almost in Jazz territory.
Too slow and genteel to call a blues number this mournful ballad picks over the bones of a dying relationship
“You ain’t my buttercup, I ain’t your little fool. I know that ain’t a part of the deal”
I flopped down onto the bed after the first track and fell into a deep sleep.
“It’s just a matter of time” sung over and over sailing me away.
So far so ambient.
That’s all well and good until you get to the hidden track at the end of Shame. After a couple of minutes of complete silence… A hideous distorted voice spits insults and chastisement at a poor victim loudly and viciously. It woke me with a start. I literally jumped off the bed. I damned near pissed my pants too.
There was the grunge anger I was expecting, right when I didn’t want it anymore. Fuck you Brad.