I was introduced to this band through my older brother, either by accident or on purpose I can’t quite remember. Sometimes I’d walk by his room and hear music coming from his speakers that would tickle my ear and so I’d have to ask who he was playing. I remember that’s how I discovered ska bands like Reel Big Fish and Less Than Jake. Later I’d buy his computer off him complete with his iTunes library which led me to other bands he would listen to like Five Iron Frenzy and Blink 182. If you couldn’t tell, he was a big-time ska fan back then, and even had a ska band.
Sadly The Refreshments no longer exist, and haven’t existed for quite some time. That won’t stop me from playing their two albums over and over again. I don’t quite understand what keeps pulling me back to their music. In between all the emo-punk-hardcore-can’t define itself music of high school, the Refreshments stood tall. I could never explain what kind of genre they were to me. I used to say I enjoyed any music from pop-punk to heavy metal… and The Refreshments. I guess now if I were to classify them it would be some form of alternative pop rock? Musical genres generally escape me, I just know what my ears enjoy; they smile when The Refreshments are playing.
The only song some of you may remember from them was the King of the Hill theme song – yup that was them. I was elated when my guitar teacher taught me that song without me even asking. After learning it I’d get asked to play it here and there at youth groups and what have you, when I brought my guitar along. I guess it struck a chord with others as well.
Their music always had very technical lead guitar riffs alongside catchy lyrics about being a modern cowboy, running from the law, drinking at the bar, falling in love with the wrong girl and getting into trouble, that sorta thing. Banditos might be another song that you may have heard as it was their radio ‘hit single’.
Even with this song being the rocking single it is The Bottle & Fresh Horses has to be my favourite of the two albums. (Which I’ve shared with you before in my Repeat All article).
Since listening to these two albums in full over and over again, I’ve grown to really like every song but my favourites from when I was younger went something like this: (in order from most to least) Dolly, Preacher’s Daughter, Banditos, Down Together, Good Year, Girly, Broken Records.
However the song that crept up on me the most and surprised me was Nada from Fizzy Fuzzy Big & Buzzy. I may not have given this song the light of day when skipping through tracks (I usually gravitate towards the more upbeat and fun songs in albums. Hence the prior list). However in college I would listen to these two albums on shuffle to fall asleep at night. When this song came on it was a nice soothing track, but when the chorus came in, “There ain’t no moral to this story at all, and anything I tell you very well could be a lie” and the guitar chords rang alongside, “I’ve been away from the living, I don’t need to be forgiven, I’m just waiting for that cold black soul of mine… to come alive” the song itself came alive. Further into the track they mix the lyrics of the chorus up, and it evolves as the song continues on. I’m just a sucker for a good melody and Nada has that hook.
After the band disbanded Roger Clyne, the lead singer, started another ensemble called Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers. I could never get into it unfortunately. That band now no longer exists as well. I might have to give them another play through sometime soon.
I implore you if you haven’t given The Refreshments a listen, you oughtta give them a shot!
Here’s a really pixelated bad-quality version of their music video for Banditos… Make sure to look em up on Spotify or something cuz the audio doesn’t do them justice here.
In case you were dying for more old pixelated videos here’s Down Together. We got some old imagery here, the old mouse trap game, rock em’ sock em’ robots, the weighted bird and water thing-jig. Good stuff. Oh and a monkey for good measure.