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Allison Lorenzen & Midwife, 'Glycerine'

There's a duplicity in the genre that's come to be known as "butt rock." The term — which possibly came from shortening the phrase "nothing but rock" — has morphed over the years to define a particularly embarrassing crossbreed of nu-metal, grunge and alternative. At its core, though, butt rock as a term can be used to describe the sound of traditionally male anger and anguish. It's music that, past the unnecessary distortion and slimy aesthetics, becomes terribly human — turning deep sequestered heartache into jagged portrayals of masculinity.

Allison Lorenzen and Midwife deeply understand this form of quiet suffering. On their cover of Bush's 1995 hit "Glycerine," they turn the gravely, proto-butt ode to regret into a slowcore meditation on the fleeting nature of time. There's something maudlin about the original; here, Gavin Rossdale's brimming frustration is swapped with genuine sorrow. Both Lorenzen and Midwife, whose music carries a dark ephemerality to it, turn the track into a lament. It makes the song more fit to smoke a cigarette and plaintively reminisce to than blast in your Dodge Ram pickup.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Reanna Cruz
Reanna Cruz is a news assistant for NPR Music's Alt.Latino.
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