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Band historyCome came into being after a mutual acquaintance invited Brokaw, O'Brien, and Johnson to play with him.
Brokaw was playing drums with Codeine, Johnson had previously drummed for Athens, Georgia band Bar-B-Q Killers, and O'Brien had played with two other 1980s Athens bands, Kilkenny Cats and Fashion Battery.
After playing one show together, Brokaw, O'Brien, and Johnson decided to split off into their own project and invited Thalia Zedek to join them.
Zedek had played in the bands Uzi and Dangerous Birds and have met and befriended Brokaw in the mid-1980s.
Her most recent band at the time, the post-no wave New York band Live Skull, had disbanded in 1990 and Brokaw and Zedek had been talking about playing together.After a year of jamming together, Come released the 12-inch single "Car" on Sub Pop in 1991, according to Spin magazine, "[a\] two-song seven-inch that delivers all the satisfaction of, let's say, the definitive Hendrix box set." "Car", a seven-minute epic in the blues-noir style of The Birthday Party, These Immortal Souls, and The Gun Club, encapsulated what was to become Come's trademark style: dark, intense, and lengthy songs marked by Zedek's emotional and distressed vocals, abrupt rhythms, and the tension-filled guitar interplay between Zedek and Brokaw, both extraordinarily accomplished guitarists.
Even before the release of their first album, the band received much critical praise, with Spin magazine stating that "[t\]he band is ferocious, bending a head-on adrenaline rush into a staggering blues crawl, churning noise-damage into aching melody, and letting it fall apart", adding that Come was "[n\]ot just another band from Boston," but rather "poised on the brink of the big time."In 1992, Come released their debut album, 11:11, on Matador Records.
11:11 received acclaim from both the independent and established media, with David Browne, from Entertainment Weekly, characterizing it as "enthralling, like watching someone howl into a rainstorm." After the release of 11:11, Brokaw left Codeine, devoting himself full-time to Come.
Already after the release of the debut album, Come received praise from Dinosaur Jr.'s lead singer J.
Mascis, Hüsker Dü's Bob Mould, and Nirvana's frontman Kurt Cobain, among many others, with Indigo Girls' Amy Ray lauding Zedek's voice, describing it as an "old Marlene Dietrich film" and Math rock band Chavez's guitarist Matt Sweeney characterizing Come as 'mind-blowing and one of the best bands ever.' Likewise, New York alternative rock band Cell guitarist Jerry DiRienzo has stated that "Come is more rock-rooted [than Zedek's previous projects\].
Their writing is great; their music bridges the masculine and feminine," concluding that Come are his "favorite band."Come's second album, Don't Ask, Don't Tell, was released in 1994.
Though somewhat calmer than its predecessor, it was equally as grave.
Among the highlights of the album, and of the whole of the band's impressive song catalogue, are the two dark ballads, "Let's Get Lost" and "Arrive," each closing a side of the vinyl edition.Johnson and O'Brien left the band after Don't Ask, Don't Tell to pursue other careers.
The following album, the short Near-Life Experience, was recorded with a number of different musicians, including drummer Mac McNeilly of the Jesus Lizard and Bundy K.
Brown of Tortoise.In 1998, Come released the 66-minute tour de force Gently, Down The Stream, which took its cue from Near Life Experience, but featured a more fluent integrated soundscape and included the stand-out track Saints Around My Neck.Zedek and Brokaw took a break after Gently, Down the Stream, and never reconvened to create a new album.
Zedek and Brokaw each went on to release multiple solo albums, and performed together on a few occasions to play some Come songs live.Throughout their career, Come have supported and toured with Sonic Youth, Nirvana, Sugar, Dinosaur Jr.
and many other seminal 1990s rock bands.ReunionsOn November 11, 2007, Brokaw and Zedek came together for a brief, two-song set to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Middle East Club in Cambridge, which had been the site of Come's last performance.A year later, in November 2008, a full band reunion occurred when the Gently, Down the Stream line-up of the band came together for a one-off performance in Castellón, Spain, as part of that year's Tanned Tin Festival, performing songs from across their entire back catalog.In 2010 and 2011, the original line-up of Come sporadically re-united to play a number of shows, including a set at the TraniWreck festival in Cambridge MA, featuring songs exclusively from their first two albums and the 'Car' EP.In early 2013, it was announced that there would be a small international tour to commemorate the 20th anniversary of 11:11, by the original band line-up.
The tour took place in May and June 2013, in support of the re-issue of Come's debut album.Other projectsCome's original line-up formed the backing band on Steve Wynn's 1995 album Melting in the Dark [Brake Out/Zero Hour\].The final line-up of Come was also included in Michael Galinsky and Suki Hawley's 1999 feature film Radiation, in which they play a band left stranded at an airport, waiting for a Spanish music promoter who never arrives.Both Brokaw and Zedek would go on to have critically acclaimed solo careers, the former also collaborating on several projects with a number of diverse artists.
Zedek and Brokaw also collaborated on a cover of "Zonar Roze", their joint contribution to The Journey is Long, the second volume in the Jeffery Lee Pierce Sessions Project, a series of tribute albums featuring a number of artists covering the songs of The Gun Club's lead singer and guitarist Jeffrey Lee Pierce.