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Eggs Teenbeat 96 Exploder

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Album Review

One would not expect to use the word opus when discussing the mid-'90s D.C./Virginia indie pop scene that revolved around the Teenbeat and Simple Machines record labels. This was a scene that fed on 7" records and four-track cassette-only releases. With Exploder, Washington, D.C.'s Eggs proved that their four-minute pop excursions could come together to form a cohesive double album by combined the familiar Beatlesque melodies with raucous post-punk noise and tongue-in-cheek quirkiness. Unlike Eggs' debut album, Bruiser, which was in essence a solo project for singer/guitarist Andrew Beaujon, Exploder was created by a more permanent ensemble, including bassist Evan Schurack and guitarist/trombonist Rob Christiansen (the lack of a permanent drummer is comically addressed in an entire page of the liner notes). The result is a much more confident and diverse performance. "Why Am I So Tired All the Time" delivers a professional version of the "we just wrote this five minutes ago" style, while "Salsa Garden" makes a case for just how dramatic and full sounding a shoestring indie band can be. "Saturday's Cool" is a garage band's shot at '70s rock bombast, complete with ridiculous harmonies and an a Yes-inspired synthesizer solo. The finest moment on the album comes at "Evanston," an exquisitely written song which lacks any sly referential treatment. Dispersed between the complete songs is the occasional 30-second sound collage. The CD release even contains one-minute silent tracks to mark the breaks where the listener would have to flip the sides of the vinyl version. Mixed at Inner Ear Studios, best known as the recording home for D.C.'s other great musical leaders, Fugazi, Eggs clearly intended to raise the bar on the quality of records coming from themselves and their peers. They succeeded by creating one of the most outstanding and timeless albums to come out of that scene.

Biography

Formed: 1991 in Richmond, VA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s

Eggs was one of Washington, D.C.'s best indie-pop bands of the early 1990s, but were often lost in the shadows of their labelmates Unrest, another excellent D.C. indie-pop group of the time. Led by Andrew Beaujon, formerly of Scaley Andrew, Eggs carved out a niche for themselves in the early 1990s among a slew of other sugarcoated guitar-pop bands that followed in the wake of Unrest. Their first album, Bruiser, explored the more easy-listening cocktail-lounge side of guitar-pop, a sub-subgenre Unrest...
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Eggs Teenbeat 96 Exploder, Eggs
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