Elastica appeared on the rock scene in 1995 with their self-titled debut album (Elastica, in case you’re not in the mood to figure that out). It made a pretty big splash at the time and for good reason: it was a fantastic album from start to finish. Crossing influences from early Wire and the Buzzcocks to the Pixies and PJ Harvey, it was a tightly wound, buzzing album that wasted nothing — the majority of the songs are under two-and-a-half minutes. The musicianship is excellent throughout, with inventive rhythms and well-placed silences, but what really made the album was Justine Frischmann’s singing. She sounded cool and detached on the one hand, but with a husky sexiness at the same time — a bit like a tougher Debbie Harry — and her British accent certainly didn’t hurt in the “cool” department. In addition to Frischmann, Elastica was made up of two women and one man, and was definitely one of the toughest-sounding predominantly female bands of the ’90s. Unfortunately, for a number of reasons, among them internal band conflict, it took 5 years for them to release their second album, the also-excellent The Menace, after which they soon broke up.
“Connection” was their best-known song in America from the debut album, ending up in at least one commercial and played at sporting events for a while much the way Blur’s “Song 2” was (and still is). It’s a potent song with a relentless beat, great use of synths mixed in with the guitars, and a great hook: the deep “groan” (for lack of a better word) heard between verses. Sounding like a Wire/Gary Numan/Devo cross with twice the oomph, the song kicks butt like few other songs from the ’90s. And I also feel the need to point out that this song is yet another example of how a few well-placed handclaps (in the last few measures of the song) can elevate a song to a whole new level.
If “Connection” connects with you, but you haven’t heard anything else by them, I can assure you that you will love — not just like, but love — the entire Elastica album.
And you might enjoy this video of the song as well — kind of a Pee Wee Herman-esque animation: