Nine Bands From the '90s Underground That Should Consider Reuniting

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Photo via officialrefused.com
Everyone was all abuzz about the reunion announcements of Refused and At the Drive-In this week. I was less abuzz. I never much cared for Refused (nor International Noise Conspiracy) and I was one of those people that liked ATDI "before" (and I certainly had no need for Mars Volta). And they're not the only ones throwing their hats back in the ring. Last year we saw new releases from The Get Up Kids and Braid.

The Promise Ring are gearing up to play some dates next month, and just yesterday Murder City Devils released their first songs in over ten years. If you were into underground music in the late '90s you've got an opinion on all of these things. And I've got an opinion on bands from that era that I'd like to see get out there again. Most of these bands broke up by 2000 (with a couple of exceptions being later or way way earlier), but all were pretty important to kids who were lucky enough to come of age in the "Hands Up Houston" era. Maybe they could reunite and then book these bands. How about it?

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9. The Peechees

I remember when I was in my formative punk years being introduced to Chris Appelgren at a show at Zelda's. He was a dreamboat. It wasn't until after our short conversation that my friend told me "he runs Lookout! Records." Gulp. It wasn't until a little later that I first saw the concert film Songs for Cassavettes that showed Mr. Appelgren in action. As the front man of The Peechees he had enough shake and shimmy to make Elvis blush. But after just four short years and two albums on Kill Rock Stars, the band called it quits. The Peechee All-Season Sensations were playing dirty bluesy garage-punk during Oakland's pop-punk heyday, and like they titled their first album, "Do The Math." The world just wasn't ready for punk to be truly dangerous in the sexiest of ways. But fourteen years later, it seems like we're prepared for the party in Chris Appelgren's pants. I think some of these soft boys getting into garage could learn a thing or two from their re-emergence.


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8. Servotron

Recently Man or Astroman? rolled their mainframe into town and I was asked at least 30 times if I was going to go. "Eh, I've seen 'em a couple times, probably not." Everyone was always shocked that I didn't think they were as mind-blowingly awesome as seems to be the consensus. They're fine, no dis. But have you ever seen Hayden Thais and Brian Teasley's side project Servotron? They're like the SkyNet version of MOA? and they traveled the country recruiting humans to their Servotron Robot Allegiance by way of technologically precise insults. Robots themselves, they encouraged humans to replace their weak flesh with bionic bodies with their bargain basement Devo-esque indie-punk. They are always near the top of my list of best shows I've ever seen and anyone I've met that has seen them agrees. I'd like to see them get back together for the same reason I'd like to see The Peechees reunite, to get out there and give more people a chance to have their faces melted.


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7. Sarge

In 1998, Sarge were on the verge of breaking through with their immaculate album The Glass Intact. They were popping up in major magazines, as a band to watch, even making Spin's top 20 of '98 list, and then it seems as if the band just drifted apart. Songwriter/vocalist/guitarist Elizabeth Elmore soldiered on traveling the country solo playing house shows and basement clubs for the huge fan bases she had cultivated on Sarge's travels, eventually forming The Reputation. But it just wasn't the same. The sexiest lawyer in indie rock ought to make some phone calls and get the old line-up together just to give us one last thrill.


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Justine Demetrick
6. Born Against

These days hardcore bands are singing about how hard it is to be from Sugarland and how lame pick-up trucks are. But back in 1989 Sam McPheeters was delivering articulate screeds against the true evils of our religiously conservative corporate controlled society that belied the brutally of his band's aural assaults. McPheeter's lyrics read like Occupy Wall Street General Assembly minutes. In today's political climate it would do us well to be reminded of what it means to be an educated and well spoken dissident American.

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15 comments
Robert Allee
Robert Allee

Did you ever hear the last Sarge song that they never recorded?  I have got a clip of it on Youtube (search Sarge 1999 live concert on Youtube).  It's my favorite Sarge song and was filmed at their final show.  They seemed to have no clue that it would be their last concert, so the break up must have been kind of sudden.  Poster Children are still together because they are married to each other.  They were more of a great live band, but The Breeders concert really wasn't one of their better shows.

Ted
Ted

Can we get someone who does give a fuck about ATDI and The Refused to write up a blog post on their revival?

John Seaborn Gray
John Seaborn Gray

Poster Children.

april5k
april5k

I saw Poster Children with The Breeders once, I liked their live show well enough and bought an album but it was just impenetrable. I couldn't get into it. And believe it or not - still together.

Grs07a
Grs07a

Jawbreaker. But what the hell do you mean you don't like the Volta? Who hired you?

Craig Hlavaty
Craig Hlavaty

I have seen Mars Volta plenty of times and own some of their albums, and even I can see how people wouldn't dig it or have patience for it.

elwuss
elwuss

i saw mars volta a couple of times, but the first show the only good one. It was just after the Tremulant EP, so they played like half an hour. ANd repeated some songs twice, they had no omre material. They should have broke up then...

elwuss
elwuss

jawbreaker. HELL YES.

Istevenpaul
Istevenpaul

I made out with Alison like a champ at a Discount show in Denton once. Great band!

your mom
your mom

Brutal Juice is better than all these bands. 

Lillitot
Lillitot

fuck underground bands, let's just see a Sassy reunion.

april5k
april5k

If you haven't already, check out Rookie Magazine, it's the closest thing we've got...and truth be told, it might be even better.

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