**Used - Sleeve/VG+ Media/NM - 1993 UK pressing**
Me. It’s gotta be one of the worst names for a band, but also one of the best. Indistinct, yet distinct. Question: “Who are you listening to?” Answer: “Me.”
The band (not to be confused with the Australian band of the same name) had their heyday in the early ‘90s, just as the Internet was exploding. Would they have named themselves differently had they formed now? After all, it’s a band name that is not exactly search engine friendly. Yet, it’s also a name that creates instant solidarity with the listener, a “we’re all in it together” vibe. As the liner notes of their first release Harmonise or Die state: “In time’s great music river currently swelling, Me is an innocent, ignorant swimmer and we would like to acknowledge all known and unknown makers of good music living, dead, or yet to be. We truly simply hope you will fully enjoy the music, feelings and expression of these here songs and wonder if occasionally you might like to listen to this here album alone. You’re like me. Together alone on tiny living ball of cosmos-shrapnel we call earth to harmonise or die.”
You wouldn’t be mistaken in reading that and thinking Me’s music was more than a little hippie-centric. But Me were not drug-addled, incense-burning drop-outs. They were a band with oodles of talent and energy, an overflowing trough of ideas, as well as a clever – if at times goofy – sense of humor. They were often classified as power pop, yet ventured into psychedelic, folk, Britpop, rock, and, to a lesser degree, jazz and world music as well. As such, it’s difficult to compare them to other bands, though they shared a similar sometimes-accessible-and- sometimes-eccentric spirit with bands like the Swimming Pool Q’s and Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci.
Bursting from the Bristol, U.K., scene in the late ‘80s, Me was led by George Claridge, Francis Kane and guitarist Paul Bradley. They issued two full lengths: the aforementioned Harmonise or Die, Fecund Haunts, plus a handful of EP’s before parting in 1995. Harmonise or Haunt was issued by the now defunct power pop label Rainbow Quartz and is a combination of both albums and some of their additional EP tracks. As a whole, the collection works well on its own, displaying the many sides of the group.