3) Saturation - Urge Overkill
Everyone loves a one-hit wonder. From "I Think I Love You" to "Call Me Maybe", they've been predominant forces in the music industry and pop culture itself. What about the bands that don't even get to be a one-hit wonder, but still get to be part of a touchstone of popular culture? Thanks to Quentin Tarantino and a fortuitous cover of Neil Diamond's "Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon", this is the UO Dilemma.
Urge Overkill is a band that I'd argue is underrated. I'd be wrong, but I'll be damned if I wouldn't argue it til I'm blue in the face... and even longer if drinking. They're grungy, but still a bit punk... but with a loungy-swagger missing from most 90s bands. And they came up with one of my favorite lyrics of all time- "Girl, what's your sign? Vagi-ttarius?" ("Woman 2 Woman"). Lead singer Nash Kato's voice has been oddly familiar to me for as long as I've heard it; the band's brand of power-chord laden grungypop isn't challenging- swinging from Ramones to late-era Replacements and back again over the course of a song at times. Want some grunge? "The Stalker" proves their chops (it honestly sounds like something off of Nirvana's "Bleach" to me if nothing else). Plus, their drummer's pseudonym was fucking Blackie Onassis. Done.
This is one of those albums I want to play for everyone- just jam it in their ears so they understand how fantastic it is. From a song about assassinating Fidel Castro (fuck it, let's do some blow instead) to a punk ditty about the joys of dating a bisexual woman (spoiler alert: it's fun) to a hidden track ("Operation Kissinger") consisting of Nash screaming over samples of George Throrogood and Prince. It's a parody of the musical landscape at the time- a sarcastic look at where the art rock wave of the late 80's/early 90's had left bands by the time 1995 hit. And hell, what's more sarcastic than a punk lovesong dedicated to everyone's (except the Soap Opera Awards voters) favorite soap queen, "Erica Kane". It's not a breathtakingly adventurous album- power chords galore and simplistic song structure abound, with Blackie's more than capable drumming providing the pedal to the not-so-metal.
This is one of the few entries that have no emotional tie to my life. There's no event that is bound to this album. It's just fucking good. I wish I could tell you that you'd love it. I'd love for you to try.