Presidents of the United States of America employed a bit of synergy on Election Day 2004, releasing lovingly remastered, expanded editions of their 1995 debut and the 2000 LP Freaked Out and Small. It was the debut that blew up originally, positing the Presidents in the midst of the mid-'90s grunge explosion with singles like "Peaches," "Lump," and "Kitty." With their modified lineup -- vocalist Chris Ballew played a "basitar," while cohort Dave Dederer rocked the "guitbass" -- PUSA couldn't create the thick sonics of their fellow Seattle grungers. But their quirky take on punk-pop did help expand the palette of MTV and alternative radio, and make their oddball singles part of the enduring sound of the era. This expanded edition arrives via Ballew, Dederer, and drummer Jason Finn's own PUSA imprint. It includes the original album in its entirety, as well as 12 bonus tracks and demos dating from the same era. (And mindset, as "Carolyn's Booty" proves. "I caught a glimpse of Carolyn's booty/As she was going from the bathroom into my bedroom....") Presidents fans will dig the demos, especially. Taken from Ballew's four-track cassette demos, they're a gloriously weird jumble of muffled Mellow Gold-era Beckisms ("Stranger" and "Boll Weevil," particularly) and the kind of loopy humor that would bloom on Presidents itself. If that's not enough bonus material, this "Ten Year Super Bonus Special Anniversary" edition includes a "Super Bonus Thrillpack DVD," with videos, live material, and commentary from the band. Vote yes on the Presidents!
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AllMusic Review by Johnny Loftus