The Ocean, "Bathyalpelagic I: Impasses"
You know, I think the zone is actually bathypelagic, not bathyalpelagic. Come on The Ocean, get your shit together!
Claw Hammer, "Succotash"
Jon Wahl really has one of the unique voices in rock, and certainly in underground rock. He sounds like he was transported out of a cartoon or something to front a blues-flecked rock band. Very strange! This was Claw Hammer's third album, but the immediate prior one was a full-album cover of Devo's debut record, and nobody heard the first one. Well, I certainly haven't, and I've listened to a lot of this band. At any rate, coming off that cover record, this showed that they could really light it up with originals.
Melvins, "At A Crawl"
This is from Ozma, the record where the Melvins really began fulfilling their potential. It's the first album from them that I can recommend without reservation, and while they would next make the epochal Bullhead, Ozam is a worthy starting point for exploring the band.
Storm and Stress, "An Address That Was to Skip Ahead of the Gallop of Its Own Sperm and Eggs and Wait for Itself in the Future: Letter to 2096"
OK, Storm and Stress.
Pyrrhon, "Cancer Mantra"
After Pyrrhon put out the magnificent The Mother of Virtues, the metal buying public was apparently sufficiently confused that Relapse Records dropped them. Unphased, they regrouped and put out a new EP, Growth Without End, picking up where they left off. If you're listening to this and thinking "this sounds like three songs played simultaneously, with all three on the wrong speed", you're not wrong. If you're thinking that and adding, "...and I want to turn it up," congrats, you might be me.