Black Watch were formed in Los Angeles in 1988 by guitarist John Friedrick,
who later enrolled vocalist J'Anna Jacoby (also on violin and viola).
St Valentine (Eskimo, 1988) contains the early gem
Record Shop Girl.
It was followed by the EP Short Stories (Eskimo, 1989), the single
The Ginger Men/ Eleanor Rigby (Eskimo, 1990), the album
Flowering (Dr. Dream, 1991), and the single
Come Inside/ Just Last Night (Eskimo, 1993).
The shy folk-pop of the single
Whatever You Need (San Jacinto, 1994)
is also the trademark style of
Amphetamines (Gotta Go, 1994).
Their melancholy, spacey, tunes (Just Last Night,
See You Around) rank with
Mazzy Star's and
Medicine's mellowest ballads.
Unfortunately, the standout tracks of the EP
Seven Rollercoasters (Catapult, 1997) are the two sides of the
previous single: I Feel So Weird and the grotesquely baroque Steve Albini.
No matter how accomplished those ballads, the rest of the album sounds like
The King Of Good Intentions (Not Lame Limited, 1999), recorded with
former Velouria bassist Scott Taylor and ex-Medicine drummer Jim Goodall,
is even dreamier, bordering on space-rock.
Quasi Stellar Radio Source is one of their humble masterpieces.
I Remember Swimming and
All The Stars Are Jewel-Bright
are the standout tracks off Lime Green Girl (Saltwater, 2000).
The single Christopher Smart (Saltwater, 2001) is poppier.
J'Anna Jacoby's playing matures on
Jiggery-Pokery (Stonegarden, 2002), but the band relies too much on
the lyrics (The Tennis Playing Poet Roethke Said) rather than just let
their eccentricity bloom.
The Innercity Garden (Pink Hedgehog, 2005)
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