Built to Spill, "The Plan"
Built to Spill's three album run culminating in Keep It Like A Secret is one my very favorite peaks of any band, ever. Doug Martsch's songs were all incredible, there was heart, catchiness, tons of surprises, it's just incredible stuff. Not only that, but they were able to pull off tight pop songs and epic tunes with equal aplomb. My favorite is actually the middle record, Perfect From Now On, which is...uh, perfect. But they're all tremendous records.
Noise rock band out of Richmond, Virginia, Kepone released three albums without making a whole lot of impact. But this stuff is a really good example of the mid-90s style, and deserved a better fate. I had kind of forgotten about this record, nice of shuffle to haul it up.
El-P, "The Full Retard"
Uh, unfortunate title here. My policy here is to kind of present these things with whatever ugliness comes up.
Teengenerate, "Gonna Feel Alright"
Despite sounding like a garage rock band from, like, Columbus, these folks are from Tokyo, not anywhere in the Midwest. Across a couple mid-90s albums, they kicked out a racket matching the best any garage band was mustering at any point that decade. How can you not love this?
Obits, "Spun Out"
After setting one of the benchmarks for post-hardcore with Drive Like Jehu and extending that noisy legacy with the three great Hot Snakes records, Rick Froberg really calmed it down quite a lot with Obits. He still writes some excellent tunes, but the fury is mostly gone. In its place is more of a surf vibe, which is certainly welcome.