The Numero Group and Majesty Crush have announced a career-spanning, double LP collection of Majesty Crush’s lauded discography titled Butterflies Don’t Go Away. Featuring beloved singles like “Cicciolina,” “Uma,” “Penny for Love,” and “No. 1 Fan,” Butterflies Don’t Go Away showcases the band’s diverse catalog and includes lesser-heard versions of their singles, packaged all together for the first time ever. Majesty Crush’s No.1 Fan EP will see its release digitally for the first time ever in advance of the full compilation on February 20.
If you can deactivate the now-calcified preconceptions of ’90s nostalgia and push beyond the ear-perking noisy hooks that register at first as standard shoegaze moves, and get closer to the weird specifics and idiosyncratic details that live in all of their songs, it becomes easier to understand how Majesty Crush spent its existence on the perimeters of multiple scenes but belonged to none.
Not just a band from Detroit, Majesty Crush was distinctively a product of Detroit—one that mirrored their city’s complexity, singularity and cross-culture. The band’s frontman/vocalist David Stroughter, guitarist Mike Segal, bassist Hobey Echlin and drummer Odell Nails created a form of dream pop that was charged and uncompromising at a time when many were succeeding on an international level for merely recycling sounds originated by bigger bands. Instead of a Midwestern assimilation of a shoegaze movement evolving in real time all around them, Majesty Crush was a far stranger, impossibly individualized blur of personalities, experiences, and perspectives informed by the independent music badlands of the early ’90s, which played out in the unlit, unregulated corners of the Motor City.
Inspired in part by the emptiness of Detroit that surrounded them as a new decade began, Majesty Crush used their music to build a dreamscape of their own design from what felt at times like pervasive nothingness. Segal’s three-string guitar lines emanating wistful, spare melodies and drones, Nails’ dense, melodic drum beats and Echlin’s Joy Division-esque parts hammered out on a pawn shop bass formed a foundation for vocalist Stroughter’s psycho-sexual fantasy depictions that seethed and purred as if the world was ending in every breath. These were the primal elements that began Majesty Crush and set the tone of maximalist minimalism that would define their brief but prolific career.