Rhinofy-Shelf in the Room

Remember when we used to argue about Days of the New?

This was back in the mid-nineties when Geffen Records was the king of rock, just before that format imploded and so did the label. Before videos were all about the production and not the music, before rap went on a victory lap.

It’s almost like it didn’t happen. Days of the New was huge, and then they disappeared. You see the “creative genius” of the group, Travis Meeks, fired the rest of the act after the initial success. Which he could then never duplicate. Did he lose the formula, or was the effort of the rest of the band key?

We can debate that forever and come to no conclusion.

But we do know in ’97 and ’98 you could not escape the band’s music.

It started with “Touch, Peel and Stand.” Which dominated the rock radio format for a while. And continued to get play in bedrooms of teenagers long after it slipped off the chart.

And then came “The Down Town.” Which also went to number one on the rock chart. But it seemed so DERIVATIVE!

Back when rock still ruled, and nearly five minute tracks were de rigueur, when they didn’t make you write with the hitmaker du jour and you could still do it your way.

And then there was “Shelf in the Room”…

Headbanging music made for males who’d ingested so much dope or alcohol they could only sit on the couch and nod their head.

The acoustic guitar intro is so simple, anybody could write it and play it.

But nobody does anymore.

You need more.

And more comes in. There’s another guitar. And it’s so HYPNOTIC!

And then comes the change…

The key is so distant
I’ve opened doors

That VOICE! Back when our stars were dark and mysterious, before they were busy promoting themselves on social media, when Heather Locklear and Valerie Bertinelli could not resist the allure of the players, when the players were still king, before they were trumped by the mercenary Kardashians who seem to know today’s game better than the musicians.

Holding out
Never hold in
Holding out
Never hold

The repetition with the effects, you cannot help but sing along.

It’s as if Jimmy Page was reincarnated minus a couple of decades and decided to make ethereal music in the vein of Led Zeppelin, albeit a bit less inventive.

But compared to today, “Shelf in the Room” sounds positively incredible! Like a lost sea scroll!

There’s not a whole hell of a lot on the track, it’s acoustic (like “Led Zeppelin III”!) and all you know is there’s a scrim between you and the performance and you just want to cut through and get closer.

“Shelf In The Room” demands you slow down and give it your complete attention. It’s not something that plays in the background which can be completely ignored.

Who is this guy with the deep voice? Singing like there’s not a single light in the room? How did they capture lightning in a bottle?

That’s right, that which appears derivative is seen as genius a few decades removed. Not only the Carpenters, but Boston and Days of the New.

“Shelf in the Room” sounds so different from what people play today. There’s no guest rapper, no stray electronics, it’s like the band is saying “This is enough.”


Rhinofy-Shelf in the Room

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