Uncle Tupelo, Still Feel Gone

Peter Blackstock

By Peter Blackstock

on 09.23.11 in Reviews

Still Feel Gone

Uncle Tupelo
Destined to leave an indelible mark on American music

If Uncle Tupelo’s 1990 debut No Depression had suggested Jay Farrar was the band’s focal point, the first track on the band’s 1991 follow-up served notice of Jeff Tweedy’s arrival. The raw emotion of Tweedy’s “Gun” catches fire amid Uncle Tupelo’s power-trio abandon, creating his first great moment on record; indeed, the song has remained a fan favorite throughout his subsequent Wilco years. Tweedy’s sweeter side shines on the album’s bookend, “If That’s Alright,” a quiet number with atmospheric keyboard washes that hint at some of his future explorations. In between, Farrar serves up a few more gems that have stood the test of time, including the aching acoustic ballad “Still Be Around” and “True To Life,” a country-ish rambler which signaled where the band’s next two albums would venture. Along the way, they paid tribute to punk rock mentors the Minutemen with “D. Boon,” and on “Looking For A Way Out,” their voices united in anthemic glory: “There was a time — that time is gone.” Taken as a whole, Still Feel Gone was slightly more hit-and-miss than No Depression, but its high points made clear that Tweedy and Farrar were destined to leave an indelible mark on American music.