Having just written about American pop metal band Cinderella for this site in relatively glowing terms (to a degree that even surprised me), I still find myself generally disgusted with the music that typically reaches mainstream rock critical mass. As I continue to discover more and more musical artists of the '80s that toiled in baffling obscurity during their peak years, I find it hard to believe how many of them produced songs for which there is no good explanation why they didn't top some chart or another.
This is certainly the case for the virtually unknown New Jersey guitar rock band Winter Hours, which produced two highly worthy but almost totally ignored albums during the second half of the '80s. Unlike many of the band's early alternative music and college rock contemporaries, Winter Hours embraced a throwback folk rock sound that served as the perfect backdrop for the edgy slow-burn vocals of frontman and primary songwriter Joseph Marques. "Broken Little Man" is a standout from 1989's self-titled LP that is taken from a handful of outstanding tracks, all of which succeed in not sounding quite like anything else released during that era. Unfortunately, this distinctiveness apparently contributed to the band's coming up utterly empty in terms of airplay or significant record label support. Nevertheless, the group's moving lyricism is not that hard to find and champion given a bit of determined effort. As always, join me in spreading the word every chance you get. It all starts with one good listen.
- Sample or download "Broken Little Man" here.
- Compare prices on Winter Hours CDs here.
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Album Cover Image Courtesy of Chrysalis/Capitol