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Another one of the hundreds of post-grunge alternative pop bands signed by majors in the early '90s and summarily dropped by 1996, when their albums did absolutely nothing on MTV and the increasingly formulaic "The Edge" radio format, the Swansons really deserved better. The Washington D.C. quartet led by singer Lauren Fay had a pleasant pop/rock sound akin to Velocity Girl or Letters to Cleo, and the speedy, guitar-driven songs were a uniformly catchy lot, with consistently strong guitar hooks and memorable choruses. A few, especially the galloping "Wide Eyed Flower," the '60s-ish "Respectable Sweat," and the dreamy "Dervish," are actually great. Paul Mahern's slightly monochromatic production overemphasizes the rhythm section a little too much, and someone really should take the distortion pedal away from guitarist Alec Hodel, but as far as one-shot wonders from the post-Nevermind era go, the Swansons are better than most.

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