Jul 25, 2011

The brief History of Acetone: 1993 to 2000

Genre: Slowcore

On its 1993 debut, Cindy (Vernon Yard), Acetone decorated a Velvetsy foundation with icy psychedelia, chunks of garage noise, and a sprinkling of Issac Hayes guitar. But apparently the LA trio found its own concoction unsatisfying, because over subsequent albums, it radically changed the recipe. In fact, its recently released, eponymously titled third album, on Neil Young's vanity label, Vapor, is the musical equivalent of a whispered conversation, a collection of fuzzy pop tunes so elongated that the melodies and chord progressions practically dissipate as they're played. That's not to say Acetone's music isn't memorable; it's just not particularly palpable. The fluid, pulsating bass lines of Richie Lee serve as a skeleton for guitarist Mark Lightcap to stretch a thin skin over, with his light, fragile strumming and chord-changing squeaks. The pair's shy vocals are equally complementary, and Steve Hadley's drumming caresses the other sounds more than it propels them. If you're looking for action this probably won't do it for you, but Acetone's trancey minimalism makes good sense on this bill with the more extrovertedly hypnotic Spiritualized. And as with the headliners, Acetone's music gets a substantial energy boost when performed live. - Peter Margasak



  1. oi, thanks so much for sharing this, never heard of acetone before but immediately I'm smitten, too too good

  2. Acetone was a great band, definitely underappreciated. Good to see you giving them some attention!

    Can't believe you left off The Final Say and Like I Told You... their two best tracks IMO.