Red Red Meat / Jimmywine Majestic
In 1993 Red Red Meat released its first record for legendary Seattle label Sub Pop, Jimmywine Majestic. Building on the grungy roots of the band’s self-titled debut, the second album was more confident and refined, with songwriter Tim Rutili’s impressionistic lyrics hovering over twangy steel guitars, thick fuzzbox riffs, and barroom drums.
Produced by Brad Wood (Liz Phair, That Dog, Sunny Day Real Estate), the record finds the band (Rutili, Brian Deck, Glenn Girard, and Tim Hurley) moving away from the thrashing noise of the first record into more nuanced territory, maintaining its menacing swagger but injecting more space into songs like Moon Calf Tripe and Lather, swinging harder on opener Flank and the anthemic Ball, and pushing into blues and reconfigured roots rock with Dowser and Comes.
Much of the album’s classic feel was informed by bands like the Rolling Stones and the Faces, a “favorite kind of music for Tim Rutilli,” says drummer and organist Brian Deck. “It was his writing that pulled things in that direction, and it was probably his writing and ambition to be different from that that ultimately drove [the band] toward being esoteric and experimental,” eventually morphing into Califone in the late ‘90s.
Informed by classic rock and blues, the album also benefits from Deck’s musical training and approach. While Red Red Meat’s other efforts, their self-titled debut in 1992, 1995’s Bunny Gets Paid, and 1996’s There’s a Star Above the Manager Tonight found Deck splitting his focus between production and performance, the drummer focused on Jimmywine Majestic from a player’s perspective. The record was the work of an invigorated, young, and hungry band.
“I remember [the album] mattering more to me than anything else in the world when we were doing it,” Deck says. “It’s a sensation that you have as a young artist. You tend to not have that the older you get. But it was the most important thing that had ever happened to me in my life when we were working on it. That was an awesome thing.”