Comet Gain - Biography
By Marcus Kagler
At a time when Britpop was climbing its way into the annals of pop culture history, a little known English band called Comet Gain were bucking the system by marrying northern soul, riot-grrrl, pop, and punk in the rawest of lo-fi fashions. Founded in 1993 by vocalist/guitarist David Feck and featuring vocalist Sarah Bleach, guitarist Sam Pluck, bassist Jax Coombes, and drummer Phil Sutton, the band offered an interesting and eclectic alternative to the waifish androgyny of Blur or the rock ‘n’ roll swagger of Oasis. After signing to the influential Wiiija label, the band issued their debut EP, Some Hearts Are Prepared To Lie (1994 Wiiija) quickly followed by a critically acclaimed debut full-length, Casino Classics (1995 Wiiija), an album that recalled the positive aspects of the legendary C86 compilations, inciting numerous comparisons to The Pastels albeit with a harder guitar bite.
After the issuing The Getting’ Ready EP (1996 Wiiija), the band released their sophomore full-length, Magnetic Poetry (1997 Wiiija), which was re-titled Sneaky for its US release. Recored with higher production values, Magnetic Poetry shed most of the band’s signature pop style for lengthy experimental jam sessions mixed with a harder punk aesthetic that proved to be a commercial misstep. Shortly after, citing creative differencess, all members (except Feck) left the band to form the folk pop outfit Velocette. Feck continued on as Comet Gain with a revolving lineup of backup musicians, and released the lo-fi power punk full-length, Tigertown Pictures (1998 Kill Rock Stars). Comet Gain reclaimed some of its glory days with the inspired garage rock of Realistes (2002 Kill Rock Stars), which included numerous guest appearances including vocalist Kathleen Hanna from Le Tigre and Bikini Kill. Feck and company returned three years later with City Fallen Leaves (2005 Kill Rock Stars) mixing their power pop funk with languid ballads in equal measure and scoring numerous critical accolades along the way.