The Wedding Present, "Let's Make Some Plans"
The Wedding Present decided to release a single every month for 1992, cranking out originals and covers during the series. They were collected into two records, Hit Parade 1 and Hit Parade 2, and both are great. The band was at their absolute best in the early 90s, and so getting this many tunes from them at that time is great. There's no real reason to pick between them, both are outstanding.
The Budos Band, "Chicago Falcon"
The first Budos Band was a huge breath of fresh air for me, snapping me out of a musical rut after I heard it playing at Easy Street Records here in Seattle. I eagerly awaited their followup, and The Budos Band II is a fine album, if not quite as good. The cinematic take on Afro-beat and soul is all there, and it still sounds like a million bucks, but the songs are ever so slightly less memorable. In my opinion, it's the least strong of their records, but I still recommend it. Just, you know, after all the others.
Flop, "Julie Francavilla"
Hey, it's time for second records that weren't quite as good as stellar debuts! But are still very good! Just read that last paragraph again and substitute Flop. Or something. Troubled second record and all that.
Cloud Nothings, "Nothing Without You"
Cloud Nothings often seem like several bands, and The Shadow I Remember focuses on the more tuneful side of the band. This is just a delightful, pretty poppy rock song, and the album has a bunch of stuff like this. So it's kind of an easy intro to the band.
Unsane, "Take in the Stray"
The final record of their original run, Occupational Hazard finds Unsane doing their usual thing. There's a fundamental dinginess to all of this, a worn-out and grimy feel to everything that sounds like it's falling apart. It's the sound of a machine collapsing because it was asked to do too much. It clatters, screeches, groans, and mostly howls. Unsane were nothing if not consistent, and even after they returned, they just pick up where they left off. So, what album do I recommend? I mean, I love the first record just because of the memories I have of first getting it, but I think you can kind of start anywhere.