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A decade late to the grunge party, Hazelden formed in 2008 and earned instant comparisons to alternative rock bands from the '90s. Garbage and L7 were touchstones, but since lead singer Mary Jane Snow shared smoky vocal qualities with Courtney Love, Hole became the go-to reference point when critics tried to pinpoint the band's sound. Snow moved from a self-described "white-trash Minnesota neighborhood" to the bigger playgrounds of Chicago, London, and San Francisco before deciding to move down to Los Angeles with ambitions of becoming a rock star. Inspired by the Strokes and the Vines on the radio, she started singing at open-mike nights on the underground L.A. club circuit. She soon met guitarist Travis Garrecht, bassist Joshua Wayne, and drummer Pete Vasquez, and the four decided to form a band and name themselves Hazelden, after Hedley Hazelden, a World War II test pilot. After penning some straightforward tunes with distorted guitars and catchy hooks, they self-released their first EP, Deadstock Rock, in February of 2008. The following month, a law firm representing the drug-and-alcohol treatment facility Hazelden contacted the group, asking the bandmembers to change their name.