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Summer Music: It's New To You

by Daron Faught

When I think of summer I think about getting out and doing things I don't usually do the rest of the year. This also means I try and pick up recent releases I've read about that achieved critical acclaim but not big sales. Not every CD I picked up was a classic but I did find a few that were very good.

Here's a small sample of what I've been listening to this summer:

My Head: Endless Bummer (1996)

Featuring former members of the Infectious Grooves and Bad Radio (Eddie Vedder's old band), this group's debut album contains some of the best and catchiest guitar riffs I've heard in quite some time. The lyrics need a little work, but when the music's this good, who really cares! Perfect summer cruising music (especially the Cars-like track "Teenage Foxes")!

Treble Charger: Maybe It's Me (1997)

This Canadian band's major label debut is loaded with quirky lyrics about death and religion. It was produced by Lou Giordano who has previously worked with Goo Goo Dolls and Sugar. I think his production adds a heavy crunch to the guitars and makes them seem louder than they probably are.

Truly: Fast Stories...From Kid Coma (1995)

With former members of Soundgarden and Screaming Trees at the helm of this band, you'd think that this album would be full of standard issue grunge rock numbers...and you'd be wrong. Pianos, keyboards, and eerie sound effects mix with guitars to create a heavy textured sound unlike most Seattle bands.

60 ft. dolls: The Big 3 (1996)

This band has been sadly overlooked perhaps because of the onslaught of British groups to emerge and the past few years. But this trio's music, which falls somewhere between the Jam and Oasis, should convert you rather quickly! The songs "Happy Shopper" and "No. 1 Pure Alcohol" are some of the highlights. If you really like this band, check out their 1996 EP Supernatural Joy.

The Sugarplastic: Bang! The Earth Is Round (1996)

If you're fans of XTC or clever pop music in general, then the Sugarplastic could be for you. Oddball lyrics and musical styles dominate this major label debut which are may be just a little too sunny and cheerful for some listeners. This isn't a great album but a promising one. I can't wait to hear their next release!

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