Favorite obscure pop/rock tracks from the 1990s
July 2, 2008 1:31 PM   Subscribe

Let's say you're putting together a mix of your favorite obscure 1990s pop/rock music. What are the top couple of tracks you'd be sure to include?

I realize that "obscure" is a very subjective term, so as a point of reference, I would not consider Bjork or the Flaming Lips to be obscure. I would also disqualify any artist who received significant play on mainstream commercial radio, and any artist who might have been obscure during the 90s but has since gained wider appeal (see above, Sigur Ros, Of Montreal, Cat Power, etc) such that their back catalogs have probably already been explored by new fans.

I also realize that pop/rock is a very vague descriptor and intentionally so, but the point is that I'm not asking about rap, hip hop, country, r&b or techno. The overall point of my question is that I'm fairly sure I missed out on a lot of good 90s music in favor of more mainstream fare, and I hope to remedy that now. What are your favorite hidden gems?
posted by iamisaid to Media & Arts (72 answers total) 58 users marked this as a favorite
 
Chatty, but I'll bite. Hopefully being the voice of "That Thing You Do" but otherwise being unheard of doesn't disqualify you.

(Artists' names link to the associated album on AllMusic)

The Candy Butchers
- Cupid Complained to Venus
Lincoln - Sucker

(And then, for no good reason, two from the early 2000s)
Percy Hill - 313
The Actual Tigers - Standing By

I'll come back for more if the thread stays.
posted by SpiffyRob at 1:43 PM on July 2, 2008


Inh my world, these aren't obscure, but for someone who was reared on mainstream fare, these are a great place to start:
The Fastbacks - Zucker (every Fastbacks record is awesome, and you should own them all, but Zucker's a great place to start)
Poster Children - Junior Citizen
Redd Kross - Third Eye or Show World
Rocket From The Crypt - Scream, Dracula, Scream!
posted by pdb at 1:47 PM on July 2, 2008


I recommend looking through the answers to this recent question I asked. It's specifically about grunge, so it's pretty much all from the '90s.

One not-that-famous band that stands out from the '90s that's not mentioned in that thread is Shudder to Think. "X-French T-shirt" was played on MTV, but the band never really took off. Recommended album: Pony Express Record.
posted by Jaltcoh at 1:47 PM on July 2, 2008


The Mr. T Experience, Love is Dead
posted by Asherah at 1:49 PM on July 2, 2008


Another Set of Bees at the Museum by The Olivia Tremor Control
posted by solipsophistocracy at 1:51 PM on July 2, 2008


Red Red Meat - sort of a precursor to Califone

Palace Music - Will Oldham's alter ego prior to Bonnie "Prince" Billy
posted by slo at 1:54 PM on July 2, 2008


a hit by smog
everything is by neutral milk hotel

perhaps more obscure :

folk song by bongwater
divebomb by number one cup
the i suck by new bad things
fun flies by the action suits

(red red meat is pretty dope too)
posted by tip120 at 1:57 PM on July 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Gorky's Zygotic Mynci. Psychedelic Welsh band that had a lot of short, upbeat, poppy singles - perfect for a mixtape... Check out:

- Spanish Dance Troupe
- Poodle Rockin'
- Patio Song (crappy YT audio, but a great song.)
posted by afx237vi at 1:58 PM on July 2, 2008


The Wildhearts
posted by fire&wings at 2:06 PM on July 2, 2008


Lazlo Bane's "11 Transistor" (1997) is punchy little gem that never got the attention it deserved.
posted by davebush at 2:06 PM on July 2, 2008


Grunge Couple. - That Dog.
posted by history is a weapon at 2:08 PM on July 2, 2008


seconding slo's rec of Red Red Meat (and I think the first [and totally brilliant] Califone ep came out in 1999, so that would actually get them just under the wire).

Another great Chicago band of the '90s (and with links to RRM and Califone) was Number One Cup -- you can download "Divebomb" and "Unison Bends" at the bottom of the page I linked to.
posted by scody at 2:14 PM on July 2, 2008


Several tracks from Phish's Billy Breathes, including the title track and "Prince Caspian".
posted by yclipse at 2:21 PM on July 2, 2008


Kent - Isola is still one of my favourite albums of all time. And I don't really understand Swedish. Saker man ser is a timeless and sublime piece of pop rock. It's a fucking crime that Kent never made it big outside of Scandinavia.

Plenty of Finnish stuff I know about as well, but that's pushing obscurity/accessability a bit far.
posted by slimepuppy at 2:26 PM on July 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Pond "Agatha"
Hazel "Supersonic"
posted by josher71 at 2:27 PM on July 2, 2008


Seconding Everything Is by Neutral Milk Hotel.
posted by Corduroy at 2:28 PM on July 2, 2008


Oh, and Crackerbash "Jasper".

I,um, went to college in Portland in the 90's.
posted by josher71 at 2:29 PM on July 2, 2008


"Julie's Blanket" by Mary's Danish
posted by gyusan at 2:29 PM on July 2, 2008


I am outing myself as a fan of shameless pop music with this, but I thought Jellyfish was astonishingly, transcendentally good, and criminally underrated..

They were unlucky in that they came out with their extremely intnentional, sleek, retro-ish power-pop in 1990 (which is probably really still the late '80s, in any taxonomy of music sense), just when the last scourges of metal were being extinguished by the first rumbles of grunge. They didn't fit into either camp, at all, and they were waaaaay too poppy to really fit into the alternative rock of the day either. The fact that they dressed like poncy, contrived assholes did them no favors either.

Still, Bellybutton remains one of my all-time favorite albums. It's like the Bay City Rollers doing Steely Dan covers for the soundtrack to a french teen movie about melancolic lost love. It's just great.
posted by dirtdirt at 2:31 PM on July 2, 2008 [4 favorites]


"When the Sun Hits Me," by The Halo Bit (fronted by Alex Kemp, of Small Factory).

Which reminds me, that's one of the few albums that I don't yet have digitally.

"So Quiet," by Beekeeper (Karla from Ida and her brother).
posted by god hates math at 2:33 PM on July 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Mercury Rev- "Carwash hair"
posted by drjimmy11 at 2:33 PM on July 2, 2008


Adorable - Homeboy
posted by mattbucher at 2:34 PM on July 2, 2008


These may not be obscure enough:

Bettie Serveert - Something so Wild

Nofx - Filthy Phil Philanthropist

Screeching Weasel - Cool Kids

Soul Coughing - Super Bon Bon

G Love and Special Sauce - Cold Beverage and Baby Got Sauce

Lars Vegas - 90 mph

And my very fave, Bob Mould in Sugar - If I Can't Change Your Mind and I Can't Believe What You're Saying
posted by triggerfinger at 2:42 PM on July 2, 2008


The Muffs- Lucky Guy

Sarge- The Glass Intact. It's a whole album, but the entire thing is pop-rock genius.

Everything that Tullycraft has ever done.
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 2:44 PM on July 2, 2008


Voice of the Beehive. If you need a specific song, try "I'm Shooting Cupid" or "Monsters and Angels"
posted by Spyder's Game at 2:52 PM on July 2, 2008


8&frac12 Souvenirs - Souvonica
posted by lilnemo at 3:07 PM on July 2, 2008


or 8 and a half Souvenirs.
damn preview.
posted by lilnemo at 3:10 PM on July 2, 2008


"Bookbag" and "Cherry Bomb" by Chocolate USA
"Physical Climber" and "Foreign Room" by aMiniature
"Into the Woods" by Silkworm
"Snaptight Wars" by Crayon
posted by 23skidoo at 3:19 PM on July 2, 2008


Capsize 7 - Column Shifter (from Mephisto)
Bedhead - Felo de Se (from Beheaded)
Polvo - Fast Canoe (from Exploded Drawing)
Archers of Loaf - Web In Front (from Icky Mettle)
posted by rabbitsnake at 3:20 PM on July 2, 2008


Around 1999, MP3.com put out a couple of CDs called "103 of the Best Songs You've Never Heard." The styles were quite varied, not just pop/rock, but there were several gems on those. Scott Meldrum's "Einstein's Big Mistake" was my favorite.
posted by sageleaf at 3:33 PM on July 2, 2008


Blind Melon: No Rain
posted by neuron at 3:55 PM on July 2, 2008


Perhaps venturing too far back (both bands retain a lot of 80's influence as they started in the 80's), but I recommend both The Field Mice and Another Sunny Day, Sarah Records bands with a jangly-pop twee sound.

You Should All Be Murdered by Another Sunny Day is my favorite Smiths-ian bad mood treat.
posted by dorothy humbird at 3:59 PM on July 2, 2008


Letter from a Lifeboat by The Sugargliders
posted by pompomtom at 4:10 PM on July 2, 2008


Bedhead - More than Ever
Polvo - Feather of Forgiveness
Versus - River
Slant 6 - Semi Blue Tile
Sugar (did they ever get radio play?) - Gift
Eric's Trip - Your Always Right (sic)
The Clears - Just about every track on the album, but especially 'The C.L.E.A.R.S.' and 'Against It'
Slowdive - Machine Gun
Damon and Naomi - Information Age
The Upper Crust - Let Them Eat Rock
Bill Ding - A Gun and a Box of Bullets
posted by bunnytricks at 4:14 PM on July 2, 2008


The entire Dos Dedos Mi Amigos album by Pop Will Eat Itself.

Though the album did get play in the UK, it was overlooked by US media.
posted by lekvar at 4:26 PM on July 2, 2008


I'm waiting to get pelted by MeFites from the UK, but Brave, by Marillion, is one of the best albums of the 90s, IMO. I hate prog rock generally, but this doesn't have the meandering masturbation of a lot of prog albums.

It's hard to pick a single track from the album, as it's so interconnected and the lyrics are kind of context-dependent, but Hollow Man was one of the singles (and one of the less emotional tracks).

Another weirdo prog-like band is Porcupine Tree, who was (were?) nominated for a Grammy last year for Fear of a Blank Planet. Waiting is one of their earlier songs that I quite like, although in the next decade, they got a lot better.
posted by cereselle at 4:26 PM on July 2, 2008


The Ant Farmers
posted by Cosine at 4:28 PM on July 2, 2008


Chruch of Magic, Sin and Love by one-hit-wonder, The Men. (One of the ex-band members is replying to questions in the comments of that YouTube entry - kinda fun)
posted by Ostara at 5:41 PM on July 2, 2008


Sammy's debut album is great. If you like Pavement, be sure to check it out.
posted by Ike_Arumba at 5:48 PM on July 2, 2008


Another great Voice of the Beehive song is "I Say Nothing."

This may be veering into the late 80s, but Stump's "Charlton Heston" is one of my favorite songs.

I'd have to nominate Stan Ridgway, former lead singer for Wall of Voodoo. Any and all of his solo albums are great, "Mosquitos," "The Big Heat," etc., etc. Criminally overlooked!!!

Other great bands, with too many awesome songs to narrow it down:
Sparks
The Fall
The Lilac Time
The Posies

And who suggested Blind Melon? I think "No Rain" was played on the radio. More than could ever be justified.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 6:04 PM on July 2, 2008


I'm going to say right upfront that any Beavis and Butt-Head fan will recognize my picks. If the DVDs included all the videos I'd send you there for ideas, but alas...

Hobo Humpin' Slobo Babe - Whale
If I Only Had a Brain - MC 900 Ft Jesus
Here We Go - Stakka Bo
posted by gnomeloaf at 6:38 PM on July 2, 2008


"No Rain" was originally released in 1992, but was later re-released the following year. It subsequently helped propel Blind Melon to a multi-platinum level.

The song is easily the band's most successful song, reaching #20 on the pop charts, and #1 on both the Modern Rock Tracks and Mainstream Rock Tracks charts.
Anyway, I'd recommend anything by Neutral Milk Hotel, but if I had to pick a track for a mix it'd either be Holland, 1945 or In the Aeroplane Over the Sea.
posted by ludwig_van at 7:11 PM on July 2, 2008


"Last Plane Out" or "Ballad of Jenny Ledge" by Toy Matinee. Actually, just about any song on their eponymous album is fantastic.
posted by emelenjr at 7:20 PM on July 2, 2008


Polvo: "Fractured (Like Chandeliers)" or "Time Isn't On My Side"
Loud Family: "Rise of the Chokehold Princess" or "The Softest Tip of Her Baby Tongue"
posted by equalpants at 7:49 PM on July 2, 2008


Denzil: "Fat, Loose, Fancies Me" (I actually just discovered this song, but it's a lost 90s classic).
posted by Heminator at 8:11 PM on July 2, 2008


Hum.

You must, must, must include a song off of Hum's You'd Prefer an Astronaut.
posted by Windigo at 8:22 PM on July 2, 2008


I'll say it again.

Hum.
posted by Windigo at 8:24 PM on July 2, 2008


Man or Astroman? - Destination Venus
posted by Remy at 8:33 PM on July 2, 2008


while the city sleeps - mc 900 ft. jesus
here is where the story ends - the sundays
everybody knows - concrete blonde
i've got spies - dramarama
the church of logic, sin, and love - the men
lights are changing - the bevis frond (or mary lou lord)
posted by Afroblanco at 8:35 PM on July 2, 2008


I love these kinds of questions.. Indie rock/math rock from my college radio days -->
Unwound "Corpse Pose"
Circus Lupus, "Blue Baby"
The Monorchid, "Oral Fixation Anonymous"
Slint "Nosferatu Man"
June of 44 "Of Information and Belief"
Velocity Girl "Sorry Again"
Scrawl "The Garden Path"
Smog "Sleepy Joe"
Blackgirls "Too Many" (piano + violin group, this one's hard to find but a pretty neat song)
Lush "Superblast"
Come "Hurricane"
Cows "A Oven"
Hammerhead "Mune"
Arcwelder "Doubt"
Spinanes "Kid in Candy"
Catalog of obscure indie bands (& great pop song): Mary Lou Lord, "His Indie World"
Pavement "Give It a Day" (yeah they are not obscure but not one of their better known tracks maybe)

<3> Slant 6, "What Kind of Monster Are You?"
posted by citron at 9:31 PM on July 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


I really enjoyed that Mercury Rev video.

Would have said Gorky's...

the Viaduct - The Pastels
Purple Bike - Sugar Plant
The Great Divide - Ex-action figures
posted by minkll at 9:34 PM on July 2, 2008


I have a hard time not responding to these music questions. I'll try to limit myself. If you like garage/psych/power pop bands generally, Redd Kross are a great bet. Every time I listen to them, I wonder why I ever stop listening to them. I like Phaseshifter myself. There's not one bad track. pdb recommends two albums of theirs, too. In fact, I agree with almost everything pdb says (I have three 90s band prejudices; one is Rocket From The Crypt, but they certainly have their fans. And, I wouldn't be surprised if Superchunk and Girls Against Boys wouldn't be listed by many as great bands, too. Ugh.).. The Fastbacks!

1) YES to Man Or Astroman?! 'Destination Venus' is GREAT. It's my favorite Rezillos song, and I don't know too many bands that covered it. Highly recommended. I always dreamed of getting to go to a Man Or Astroman? concert.
2) Polvo - Every Holy Shroud (off Celebrate The New Dark Age) So many Polvo recommendations!
3) Jawbox - Savory (off For Your Own Special Sweetheart)
4) As dirtdirt says, Jellyfish are UNBELIEVABLE! When you hear them, it'll all make sense.
5) Definitely the Posies. I recall at the time hearing 'Dream All Day' on the radio (the only song I ever heard by them on the radio), and realizing that I wanted to throw away all my U2 and Depeche Mode albums after I heard this. Frosting On The Beater is essential, but my favorite song of theirs ends up being 'I May Hate You Sometimes' (off of Failure).
6) Not totally obscure, but so underrated: Urge Overkill! Saturation is a must listen! 'Sister Havana' and 'Positive Bleeding' were played on regular alt radio in my area, but the album is filled with other gems.

And, a little out of the era (sort of), but so good: The Flashing Lights, a Canadian band on the cusp of the requested decade. 'Aunties And Uncles,' 'Friends You Learn To Hate,' and 'Keep It To Yourself' are some very good songs. They're not terribly easy to find, I just have friends that make very good mix tapes.

Many of the albums that are mentioned (by everyone) go for very very little on eBay. And, technically, I'd be willing to make a mix cd if needed, I think.
posted by Mael Oui at 10:33 PM on July 2, 2008


I'll never pass up a chance to show The Posies some love. The Posies got together in Bellingham, Washington, and took their act to Seattle just ahead of the *sigh* grunge wave. They're excellent power-pop in the tradition of Cheap Trick or Big Star, and in fact, frontmen Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow are now part-time members of Big Star.

For albums, I'd recommend 1991's "Dear 23" and 1993's "Frosting On The Beater." A few of my favorite songs (all available from most reputable outlets):
Solar Sister
Any Other Way
Twenty Questions
Definite Door
Song #1
This One's Taken

You can also find them on the soundtracks to the first Austin Powers (backing Burt Bacharach on "What the World Needs Now") and Reality Bites.
posted by mgrichmond at 10:40 PM on July 2, 2008


Chiming back in to nth the love for the Posies. GREAT fucking band. Seriously great.
posted by scody at 11:06 PM on July 2, 2008


Mr Bungle - Carousel
Motorpsycho - Wearing your smell (relased 1994, not 2003 as last.fm says)
posted by Grums at 11:46 PM on July 2, 2008


Treepeople (Something Vicious For Tomorrow)
The Aluminum Group's album Pedals
Elf Power (Live performance ca 1994)
Hum (Stars, Afternoon With the Axolotls)
Early Karate, like Today or Tomorrow
Slint (Good Morning, Captain)
Built to Spill, from There's Nothing Wrong With Love through Keep It Like A Secret
Self's Subliminal Plastic Motives (Cannon, So Low)
posted by carsonb at 12:42 AM on July 3, 2008


If you were listening to college radio ten years ago, you may remember the late '90s featuring some great spastic indie rock, much of it by bands in the orbit of DeSoto Records. In addition to the already-mentioned Jawbox, their catalog features some great albums by The Dismemberment Plan (esp. Emergency & I), Burning Airlines, and the still-functioning Les Savy Fav. On different labels but in a similar vein were Q and Not U, Lifter Puller, and At the Drive-In.

If you're at all into pop-punk, you may already know about Berkeley ska revivalists Operation Ivy and Madison geek-punks The Descendents. If not, you should check them out; you can own the entire discography of the former for $10, so it's worth a shot.

Exactly the opposite is true of low-fi popsters Guided by Voices, whose voluminous output is hard to get one's head around; start with Alien Lanes and Bee Thousand. British indie pop by The Wedding Present counts as obscure on our side of the Atlantic, I think, but it shouldn't.

Early albums by The Sea and Cake, Tortoise, and The Sliver Jews, and The Boredoms will take you off in less-poppy directions.

And I'll close by, like, eighthing Neutral Milk Hotel.
posted by hal incandenza at 2:19 AM on July 3, 2008


Super Furry Animals - Ice Hockey Hair
Spacehog - In The Meantime
posted by creeky at 3:46 AM on July 3, 2008


I never got over the Longpigs.

She Said and Lost Myself.
posted by indienial at 4:17 AM on July 3, 2008


Golden Smog, Red-Headed Stepchild (MeMail for mp3 if you can't find, it's fallen off of Youtube)
This Perfect Day, I'm in Love
posted by whatzit at 5:22 AM on July 3, 2008


Regarding Sugar: great stuff, they got pretty decent radio play in the Twin Cities, my gut reaction is "not obscure".

Neutral Milk Hotel was obscure at the time--seem to be a lot better known now. Partly due to online buzz just like you're seeing here.

I'd guess there are a lot of "Britpop" bands of that era who would be obscure in the U.S., less so in Britain.

The Posies, Flavor of the Month: great, great, great song. I'd love for an American Idol contestant to start singing it some year unannounced and get yanked off the air.
posted by gimonca at 5:24 AM on July 3, 2008


i second tip120's suggestion of I Suck by New Bad Things.
posted by snofoam at 5:34 AM on July 3, 2008


i forgot to mention male nurse's "my own private patrick swayze"
posted by tip120 at 5:42 AM on July 3, 2008


Soundtracks to my 20s! Awesome! I am not sure how obscure these are since I didn't listen to mainstream radio so I've no idea if these singles made it there.
My picks slant toward New England, but these singles bring on the nostalgia for me:

Shudder to Think: X-French Tee Shirt
Imperial Teen: You're One
Ruby: Paraffin
Throwing Muses: Not Too Soon
Scarce: All Sideways (I may be nonobjective with this one since the drummer is a good friend, but their album "Deadsexy" defined Providence in the mid 90s for a lot of us) Galaxie 500: When Will You Come Home

PS: on preview, Red Kross is a great pick!
posted by stagewhisper at 10:11 AM on July 3, 2008


I've found the 1998 Kill Rock Stars + Lookout Records double-disc compilation A Slice of Lemon to be a great source of obscure tracks (so obscure, in fact, that I've been on the verge of posting questions about some of the bands on it, because they seem to not exist apart from the tracks on that comp). In particular the tracks from Red #9 and Solid Gold are awesome. There are lots of awful songs on the record too.

Beyond that, Unwound side project Long Hind Legs has a song Charmed, I'm Sure that's got some great fractured pop sounds, and Negativland's Truck Stop Drip Drop is a rare straightforward pop song from them.
posted by whir at 10:56 AM on July 3, 2008


I would be worried that they weren't obscure enough if I were advertising that aspect of the comp but I'd put on either Alien I.D. or Appetite by Kicking Giant off of the Alien I.D record and probably "Couldn't You Wait?" off of Libertine by Silkworm.
posted by safetyfork at 11:35 AM on July 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


This is a note so that this thread shows up in my Recent Activity—once I get home, I will give you a massive info-dump of bands from the '90s that barely anyone has heard of (since I was shaking my head over Blind Mellon and Neutral Milk Hotel).
posted by klangklangston at 11:52 AM on July 3, 2008


More...
Zumpano on YouTube
Walt Mink (Miss Happiness)
White Town had that one hit, but the rest of Women in Technology is pretty great, too.
30 Amp Fuse was a bargain bin guilty pleasure. Not too consistent, but super fun when they're on.
Flake Music is disqualified for turning into the "listen to this; it'll change your life" band ten years later, but they're still worth mentioning.
I'm definitely exploring early oughts college radio territory with all this, but...I....just...can't...help....myself...
Beulah made some excellent late 90's albums. (Emma Blowgun's Last Stand)
Pinback has leveraged itself onto the radio recently, but Rob Crow's earlier projects Heavy Vegetable and Thingy were awesome too.
posted by carsonb at 12:47 PM on July 3, 2008


Oh, and how could I mention Rob Crow's backlog without giving word to Armistead Burwell Smith's pre-Pinback band, Three Mile Pilot?
posted by carsonb at 2:47 PM on July 3, 2008


Just two?

Grandaddy - Laughing Stock
Soda Stereo - Té para tres

both best live
posted by papafrita at 5:14 PM on July 3, 2008


One song per album:

Cornish in a Turtleneck—Melissa (Spazzy high schoolers want to be Brian Wilson)
Fez—Drop of Poison (Squeezebox, theramin love/death song)
25 Suaves—Dianna Ross 1999 (Dirty, noisy duo)
The Misfires—Optic Blast Fire 1999 (Scuzzy power pop from Minneapolis)
The Make Up—White Belts 1999 (Heroin/hipster soul rock)
Bantam Rooster—Dirt Preacher 1999 (Scuzzy guitar rock from Detroit/Ysilanti)
The Yummy Fur—Liliput 1998 (Franz Ferdinand bites Chester Brown)
Cobra Killers—Seducer 1998 (Fuzzy yelling by girls; most everything else is more "techno"/noise)
The Figgs—Fuse About to Blow 1998 (Power pop)
Alaska y los Pegamoides—Doktor Spock 1998 (Spanish organ nuggets)
Gravitar—Brain Circus 1997 (Stoner metal gone dub)
Dismemberment Plan—Ice of Boston 1997 (Maybe too popular, but their best song ever)
Verbena—Shaped Like a Gun 1996 (Boys and girls are almost grunge)
Magnapop—Radio Waves 1996 (Girl alternapop)
Electric Wizard—Solarian 13 1996 (Best Sabbath since Sabbath)
The Chills—I Think I Thought I'd Nothing Else to Think About 1996 (Britpop, but from New Zealand)
Brainiac—Vincent Come On Down 1996 (Before Enon, there was Brainiac, and they were better)
Brainiac—Hot Water Dobermans 1996 (Brainiac put out two albums in 1996)
Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments—You Can't Kill Stupid 1995 (TJSA define snotty punk)
Nocturnal Projections—Nerve Ends in Power Lines 1995 (Echo-laden post-punk)
Menthol—USA Capable 1995 (This is the best power pop tune you never heard)
Kyuss—100 Degrees 1995 (Before Queens of the Stone Age, there was Kyuss, and they were better)
Gravitar—Dust Devil 1995 (More metal, same freakout)
Comet Gain—Another Girl 1995 (Sweet girl harmonies)
Chisel—Your Star Is Killing Me 1995 (Ted Leo when he was emo)
Blumfeld—Verstarker 1995 (Germany's Pavement)
Tuscadero—Heat Lightning 1994 (Between Suzi Quatro and Sleater-Kinney)
Majesty Crush—If JFA Were Still Together 1994 (Dream pop about hardcore)
Laika—Coming Down Glass 1994 (Seamless proto-trip hop)
The Gories—You'll Be Mine 1994 (Real garage rock)
Disco Inferno—In Sharky Water 1994 (Impossible hallucinatory soundscape pop)
David Kilgore—Look At It 1994 (Big Star bite)
Archers of Loaf—Plumb Line 1994 (Indie rock anthem)
Unrest—Make-Out Club 1993 (Different indie rock anthem)
Possum Dixon—Pharmecutical Itch 1993 (Bouncing quirk rock)
The Maitries—Summer Breeze 1993 (Grungy goofy cover with Brian Lillie before he was "famous")
Golden Palominoes—Twist the Knife 1993 (Badass chick breakup song)
Thee Headcoatees—Cum Into my Mouth 1992 (Dirty girls ode to head)
Sleep—Holy Mountain 1992 (Stoner metal)
Golden Palominoes—Boy (Go) 1992 (Michael Stipe on jangly '90s rock)
Bikini Kill—Don't Need You 1992 (Riot grrrrl)
Nation of Ulysseus—Look out! Soul is Back! 1992 (It is!)
Machines of Loving Grace—Jackie's Funeral 1992 (Techno pop)
Eleventh Dream Day—Rose of Jericho 1991 (Jangle pop)
Cosmic Psychos—Never Grow Old 1991 (Snotty punk)
100 Flowers—Without Limbs 1990 (Wire ten years later)
The Terminals—Frozen Car 1990 (Between Smiths and Pulp)
Laughing Hyenas—Life of Crime 1990 (Howling John Brannon in his throaty glory)
Ed's Redeeming Qualities—Lawn Dart 1990 (Ukulele ballad of unspeakable poignancy)

Of unkown '90s vintage—
Z-Rock Hawaii—In the Garden (Ween plus Boredoms for tranny love song)
Versus—Dead City (Girl boy indie harmonies)
Sardinas—He's on Drugs Again (Twee lament)
Papa Fritas—Hey Hey You Say (Catchy pop genius)
Lifter Puller—To Live and Die on the LBI (Hold Steady before)
posted by klangklangston at 6:37 PM on July 3, 2008 [6 favorites]


I'd suggest that Red Kross is not exactly 'obscure', given that they were both over-rated and over-played in Australia in the 90s.
posted by pompomtom at 11:19 PM on July 16, 2008


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