Seattle’s really not as big as people think it is. Olympia is probably more and less than what people expect and by the time one makes it to Spokane, all bets are off. It’s not that outside of Seattle, the rest of Washington is on open space. And that’s certainly not the case with Spokane. But a huge portion of the state – and this goes for most states in the States – counts as rural. Some of its deathly beautiful, but it’s all removed from modern metropolises.
So that’s why the Makers are a weird animal. Kicking around since the earliest moments of the nineties, the garage styled group has been on the two major imprints with Washington addresses – both K Records and Sub Pop. At the same time, though, the band doesn’t exactly jive with the general bent of either label. Being in the game for almost twenty years, though, affords a group some deference.
Before even touching on the group’s music, the fact that the crew looks like folks auditioning for a New York Dolls biopic is a bit confusing. Does Spokane warrant such attire? The music being tied to a conception of garage gleaned from a distance beyond any huge city makes it somewhat curios. Almost as curios as the cultivated image of trash and tossed off carelessness.
Beginning with a few singles and a ten inch, the Makers set up a web of constrictive sound that didn’t move too far past ’78 or the DMZ era in Boston. That’s not a problem, but trucking in the same sounds for such a long time is.
Issuing Hip-Notic in 1993 via Sympathy for the Record Industry was an auspicious moment for the Makers. Covering “Social End Product” wasn’t a bad move either. But by the time the group arrives at Rock Star God in 2000, any development beyond raising up a glam influence over that of the garage doesn’t do too much for staying power.
That album didn’t propel the Makers to new heights. But if persisting through another decade without falling apart is the hallmark of a good band, then this is it.