Jason Boucher

Pavement, Wowee Zowee (1995)

By Jason Boucher

If you’re a fan of indie rock and the eclectic sounds of the ’90s, then get ready because we’re about to take a deep dive into one of the most iconic albums of that era. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the world of Pavement’s “Wowee Zowee” from Matador Records.

When it comes to pushing boundaries and defying categorization, Pavement knows how to do it with style. “Wowee Zowee” is a sonic adventure that takes you on a ride through lo-fi garage rock, experimental pop, rock, and everything in between. This album is a testament to the band’s fearless exploration of sound and their refusal to be confined by any distinct genre.

Favorite Tracks: 

‘We Dance’

The album kicks off with a quiet intro and lyrics that might scare you, but then a sudden burst of energy and infectious guitar riffs begins. Stephen Malkmus helps set the tone for what’s to come next. I absolutely love this song and would love to sing this at Karaoke. Is that weird?

‘Rattled by the Rush’

This track combines simple melodies with both jingle jangle and heavy guitar riffs, which showcases Pavement’s ability to blend contrasting elements with layers of noise, quirky lyrics, and blend it together to make an indie rock classic.

‘Father to a Sister of Thought’

One of the best Pavement songs ever created, in my opinion. Malkmus’ lyrics tell a story over a lap steel peddle guitar with a laid-back groove which created a beautiful groove. Here’s some of the lyrics —

Calling my bluffs, talking so toughGoodbye to the ugly steeple fearGood times forever afterI’m just a man, you see who I amI’m binding my hooks and open the booksDirty black heartsAngel of Corpus ChristiYou’re so misty, tell me what I want to hear

“Wowee Zowee” is not a polished radio-friendly album. It’s raw, unfiltered, and unapologetically unconventional, but it does have structure. It challenges the listener to embrace the unexpected and find beauty in imperfection. It’s why I consider this album one of my favorites from that era. I love every song on this CD.

The album was recorded in 1995 in Memphis, Tennessee and it reflects the indie rock scene of the mid ’90s, a time when alternative music was still thriving on college, community, and commercial alternative radio. In conclusion, “Wowee Zowee” is an indie rock gem that continues to captivate listeners with its eclectic sound, creative and unique lyrics, and it’s bold experimentation.