This year, the Figgs celebrate 25 years as a band with the release of a new album, The Day Gravity Stopped. Since Go Metric couldn’t afford silver, we instead asked some of our contributors to write about their five favorite Figgs’ songs.
by Brett Essler
“Happy” (7"/Ginger, 1992)
At the time of its release, "Happy" sounded like a lost power pop classic. 20 years later, it is.
“Waiting for the Sun to Rise” (For EP Fans Only, 2000)
For EP Fans Only is a boozy, lo-fi “State of the Figgs” address for the post-Guy era with nary a bad cut. From the hushed count-in to the half-time fade out, “Waiting for the Sun to Rise” seems to walk a thin line between virtuosity and falling apart that really sets the tone for the next stage of the band’s career.
“Something’s Wrong” (Sucking in Stereo, 2000)
Sucking in Stereo is the Figgs’ most concise, all-killer no-filler record so I was hard pressed to pick just one of Gent’s knucklehead riff rockers. “Something’s Wrong” is probably the hookiest, but its dark lyrical undercurrent pushes it over the top: “Things aren’t so bad, but they will get worse / as you slide through her purse, you know something’s wrong.”
“The Trench” (Badger EP, 2001/Slow Charm, 2002)
This Donnelly tune is among the best he's ever written, the perfect combination of shout-a-long power pop and sad-sack self-reflection: “The way I act is not who I am / it's only who I want to be.” It’s no wonder Stinson looked these guys up; this is the best late-period ‘Mats song Westerberg never wrote.
“Simon Simone” (Palais, 2004)
Palais is kind of a hot mess, but “Simon Simone” is one of the Figgs’ tunes I go back to most often. There are so many reasons why, but primarily: it’s ridiculously catchy; I never tire of the Gent-verse/Donnelly-pre-chorus vocal trade-off; I feel bad for this Simon Simone guy, who, despite learning the whole set, will never be in the band.