Stealers Wheel | Stealers Wheel

HIDDEN GEM Stealers Wheel Stealers Wheel 1972 | A&M

Once considered the British equivalent to Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Stealers Wheel are, perhaps unfortunately, now known almost solely for their 1972 classic, “Stuck In The Middle.” The reboot of “cool” that song gained after its inclusion in Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs didn’t extend to [...]

Lightning Bolt | Hypermagic Mountain

HIDDEN GEM Lightning Bolt Hypermagic Mountain 2005 | Load

I have been wrong many times in my little life. In Winter 2001, my college girlfriend Rachel pounded on my bedroom door, imploring me to go to Harvey’s with her and check out this band from Rhode Island, called Lightning Bolt. When she said they were [...]

The Rentals | Return of The Rentals

HIDDEN GEM The Rentals Return of The Rentals 1995 | Maverick

In 1995, long before Weezer’s careening success and Brian Wilson-esque studio drama, Matt Sharp took a step away from his Weezer bass duties to front his own band, a New Wave-y pop band called The Rentals. And it’s a good thing he did. Considering [...]

Sun City Girls | Dulce Soundtrack

HIDDEN GEM Sun City Girls Dulce Soundtrack 1998 | Abduction

Based out of Phoenix, AZ, and part of the same outré-rock crowd as The Meat Puppets, The Sun City Girls were an amalgamation of punk, surf, beat, free jazz, Middle Eastern, and African music. Mostly instrumental, and with no particular penchant for getting anywhere in [...]

André Herman Düne | Sings Dido

HIDDEN GEM André Herman Düne Sings Dido Radbab Records | 2004

In my perfect world, André Herman Düne, former co-leader (with brother David) of the French Van Halen, Herman Düne, would be the better-known name on the cover of this record. As it stands, this seemingly bizarre pair of bedfellows (French bohemian vs. English AOR [...]

Sigh | Imaginary Sonicscape

HIDDEN GEM Sigh Imaginary Sonicscape 2001 | Century Media

The problem with black metal, to a layperson, is that there is inherently no sense of humor in the stuff. As someone who couldn’t give a fuck less about metal – a lifelong assessment – I have found this lack of a levity to be a [...]

Melt Banana | Teeny Shiny

HIDDEN GEM Melt Banana Teeny Shiny 1993 | A-Zap

The Japanese, as a culture, are a sneaky, diabolical, dedicated force to be reckoned with. Forced into a treaty agreement at the end of World War II that legally forbade them from ever again conquering another nation by force, the naturally aggressive, war-happy Japanese turned their [...]

The Lemonheads | Come On Feel…

HIDDEN GEM The follow-up album to a band’s breakthrough record is always a tricky one. How does a group keep their sound fresh without alienating their core fans or turning off newly converted listeners? Most people stumble with the second album, the sophomore slump – it’s the norm, not the exception. Look at the mighty [...]