#276: Hold Me Up by Goo Goo Dolls

April 26, 2016

With there eleventh album about to be released, we decided it was a perfect time to revisit the Goo Goo Dolls first release of the 1990s. For their third album Hold Me Up from 1990, the band began it’s transition from Robby Takac-led pop/punk band to alternative rock hit-makers of the 2nd half of the decade. This album shows the pieces falling into place, with guitarist John Rzeznik taking the lead vocals on five of the fourteen tracks, up from two on the previous two albums. From track to track, you can hear the past and future of the band colliding, but does that make for a worthwhile overall listening experience? Tune in to find out.

Songs in this Episode:

Intro - Never Take The Place of Your Man

18:48 - There You Are

20:48 - Two Days In February

34:59 - Kevin’s Song

Outro - Million Miles Away


#275: Roundtable - Sophomore Slump Revisited - Wax Ecstatic by Sponge

April 19, 2016

We’re kicking off a new roundtable series revisiting the dreaded sophomore slumps of successful bands from the 1990s. The first album we’re checking out is the 1996 album Wax Ecstatic by Sponge with special guests Chip Midnight of KidsInterviewBands.com and Jeff Takacs of Rocketfuel Podcast. With two hit singles and a gold record on their debut Rotting Pinata, their second album took a number of unexpected twists that may have thrown critics and listeners for a loop, but the lack of an killer chorus or hook like on the first record may have doomed them as well. We try to figure out whether or not this sophomore slump is worth redeeming.

Songs in this Episode:

Intro - Wax Ecstatic (to sell Angelina) from Wax Ecstatic

14:42 - Molly (16 Candles) from Rotting Pinata

23:28 - I Am Anastacia from Wax Ecstatic

Outro - My Baby Said from Wax Ecstatic

#274: Tear of Thought by The Screaming Jets

April 12, 2016

Our latest requested review takes us back to Australia, this time checking out the 1992 sophomore album Tear of Thought by The Screaming Jets. On first listen, you might pigeonhole the band as nothing more than AC/DC influenced pub rock, but further investigation reveals a wide array of classic and hard rock influences from the twin guitar attack of Thin Lizzy to the southern rock boogie of Lynyrd Skynyrd. Sound interesting? How about some horns and jazz guitar? Does that work? Tune in to find out.

Songs in this Episode:

Intro - Alright

4:45 - History of the Band

12:50 - Dream On

15:00 - Meet Anybody

20:02 - Alright

21:34 - Hard Drugs

Outro - Helping Hand


#273: Mötley Crüe by Mötley Crüe

April 5, 2016

For this week’s requested review we’re taking a ride on the wild side, revisiting Mötley Crüe’s self-titled 1994 album, the only one featuring John Corabi on lead vocals. Mega producer Bob Rock returned after helming the successful Dr. Feelgood album, but the sheen of the Sunset Strip was cast aside for a heavier twin guitar attack. With a new singer and new sound, the album divided fans and critics at the time, and the album failed to meet commercial expectations in the prime alternative and grunge years. Is this a classic hard rock album awaiting rediscovery? Tune in to find out.

Songs in this Episode:

Intro - Hooligan’s Holiday

23:39 - Uncle Jack

30:17 - Poison Apples

33:44 - Misunderstood

41:41 - Welcome to the Numb

Outro - Hammered


#272: Human Cannonball by School of Fish

March 29, 2016

We’re back with our latest requested review, this week we’re checking out the second and final album by School of Fish, 1993′s Human Cannonball. The band scored a minor hit on their first album, but none of the singles reached the same level of success from this release, and we try to figure out why. While the main songwriting tandem of Josh Clayton-Felt and Micheal Ward stayed in tact, the rhythm section changed, and that might have had some impact, while other parts that should have made an impact didn’t. We struggled with this record, are we justified in our criticisms? Tune in hear what we’ve got to say, and let us know if you agree or disagree.

Songs in this Episode:

Intro - Take Me Anywhere

2:25 - 3 Strange Days

16:47 - Everyword

20:13 - Stand in the Doorway

23:15 - Fuzzed and Fading

Outro - Complicator


#271: Digging Your Scene - Roundtable Discussion on Chicago in the 90s

March 22, 2016

Last year we had a lot of fun (and learned a lot) during our Australian music of the 90s episode. In fact, we had so much fun, we decided to turn it into new series we’re calling “Digging Your Scene,” where we explore a city or region that made an impact on alternative and indie music in the 1990s.

To kick off the series, we’re heading to a city once described (like a few others) as “the next Seattle,” Chicago, Illinois. To help us getting dig deep into the Chicago music scene, we’ve invited back Andy Derer of the Chicago-based Andy Derer Show podcastChicagoist Senior Editor Jim Kopeny and Annie Zaleski, writer for AV ClubSalon and more, to talk the history, the bands, the venues, the record stores, the legacy and more of Chicago.

Songs in this Episode:

Intro - Chicago Medley (The Smashing Pumpkins, Veruca Salt, Urge Overkill, Liz Phair, Ministry)

12:17 - Suffocation by The Pulars

25:15 - Valerie Loves Me by Material Issue

33:11 - Lotion by Wesley Willis

51:58 - Sugar, We’re Going Down by Fall Out Boy

55:51 - Get Over It by OK Go

Outro - Via Chicago by Wilco


#270: Icky Mettle by Archers of Loaf

March 15, 2016

Another week, another requested review! This week we’re checking out the 1993 debut album Icky Mettle by Archers of Loaf. Check out any music website, blog or magazine, and when the best alternative albums of the 90s are ranked, you’ll usually find this album somewhere on it. Propulsive drums, melodic bass, dissonant guitars and urgent vocals are combined in short bursts without adhering to the verse/chorus/verse format. The results are definitely superior to most of their 90s counterparts, but does that make it a perfect record? We have thoughts, tune in to find out what they are.

Note: we apologize for the audio quality on this one, we had some technical difficulties with Jason’s microphone.

Songs in this Episode:

Intro - Web in Front

17:35 - Last Word

23:00 - Web in Front

24:31 - Hate Paste

27:53 - Might

31:20 - Learo, You’re A Hole

Outro - Wrong


#269: Gram by The Welcome Mat

March 8, 2016

Our latest requested review brings us The Welcome Mat’s debut release Gram from 1993. This four-piece from Sydney, Australia packs some power-pop worthy hooks thanks to crisp vocal harmonies, well-crafted tunes and expert guitar riffage. It’s only when either of the vocalists steps out on their own that the songs start to suffer, but how much? It’s (mild) disagreement time!

Songs in this Episode:

Intro - Everyone’s Gone

3:13 - History of the Band

6:52 - Deathbag

8:36 - Junkmail

12:48 - All or Nothing

18:07 - Blew

Outro - Gram


#268: Interview with Jamie Hutchings of Bluebottle Kiss

March 1, 2016

Thanks to a requested review, we’re joined by Bluebottle Kiss lead singer/guitarist Jamie Hutchings to revisit the 1996 album Fear of Girls. We chat about his earlier years playing drums and how that influenced his guitar playing and singing. We discuss seeing late 80s/early 90s American indie-rock bands touring Australia before forming Bluebottle Kiss, then getting signed and working with producer Jack Endino on Fear of Girls. We talk touring, songwriting, going solo, his new band Infinity Broke and more.

Songs in this Episode:

Intro - Helping You Hate Me from Fear of Girls

18:38 - Claim from Fear of Girls

33.52 - Stained Mouth from Fear of Girls

38:51 - Return to the City of Folded Arms from Patient

Outro - Outside Are The Dogs


#267: Pure Juice by Summercamp

February 22, 2016

We’ve got a requested review this week, and to help us revisit his request, we invited Brandon Trammell, guitarist for Braidedveins and Kid Brother Collective on to talk about his pick - 1997′s Pure Juice by Summercamp. After an independent release under a different name, this was the only album released by the band, and it runs the gamut from syrupy power-pop to grungy thumpers and big rock ballads. There are some real diamonds in this rough to be discovered, but also a few lumps of coal. Is it a worthy record? Tune in to find out.

Songs in this Episode:

Intro - Drawer

14:42 - Nowhere Near

28:24 - Should I Walk Away

39:00 - Ninety Nine

49:25 - Two Shades of Gray

Outro - Keep An Eye On You