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Some might have heard the name Gwen Mars and assumed that Magnosheen was the work of a female solo artist, but in fact, Mars was an all-male alternative rock/grunge trio that recorded for Hollywood in the mid-'90s. This obscure debut album fell through the cracks, but it wasn't due to an absence of decent material. The influence of Seattle grunge is quite prominent on this album, and forceful but melodic tunes like "Rover," "FisherKing" and "Stuck to the Sun" indicate that Michael Thrasher, Matt Westfield and John Boutin -- collectively Gwen Mars -- had spent a lot of time listening to Nirvana and Pearl Jam. This isn't to say that Gwen Mars was a clone of Nirvana, Pearl Jam or anyone else, but the influence of those bands is certainly hard to miss. Magnosheen isn't fabulous, although it isn't without its pleasures either.

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