Einstürzende Neubauten, "Sand"
Every now and again, Neubauten will make a song that's relatively conventional. And you still end up with a creepy torch song like this one, complete with strangled half-falsetto and tribal drumming.
Built to Spill, "Revolution"
Before going on their tear with their last three albums in the 90s, Built to Spill released Ultimate Alternative Wavers. It forms the missing link between the Dinosaur Jr. tribute of the Treepeople to the extended twisted pop of their next few records. There are plenty of things to like on this record, and it's easy to see how Martsch evolved from here, but it's not their best work.
The Flaming Lips, "Hit Me Like You Did the First Time"
Hey, speaking of transitional albums! Hit To Death in the Future Head is the first album the Flaming Lips made for Warner Bros, and you get the sense that they were really coming to grips with the new possibilities that the large budget afforded them. Supposedly they went wild in the studio, spending money doing things like micing up toilets and similar goofy stuff. The album is kind of a mess, but they would kind of blossom into a new phase with the next record of giant psychedelic rock.
The Afghan Whigs, "Let Me Lie To You"
The Afghan Whigs evolved over their first couple of albums from a rock band with some soulful elements to one where the soulful (and emotional self-flagellation) elements took center stage. Gentlemen is often cited as the peak of their career, and is the record that will appear on Music Knower lists of rock records in the 90s. And that's not wrong, but it overlooks how great Congregation is. Arguably, it's even better if only because it came first and set the template. Maybe Gentlemen is a little more refined, but this is really the breakthrough record, where the Whigs lept past their grunge contemporaries to become something much more exciting.
The Apples In Stereo, "My Pretend"
Well, that's an impressive lineup so far! So let's just wrap it up with a trifle.