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Album Review

At the back of their minds, the Presidents of the United States of America — or at least their leader, Chris Ballew — always knew that they were essentially a one-hit wonder, even if that one hit was an album instead of a single. Being the jesters of grunge meant that their career had a limited shelf life, and once grunge had run its course, so had the Presidents. So, Ballew wisely pulled the plug after a commercially disappointing but musically solid second album, knowing that it would ultimately serve the band's memory better to put an end to the group instead of toiling on for years. As a consolation to fans and the record company, the band released Pure Frosting, a collection of B-sides, live cuts, outtakes and soundtrack contributions. It's just as goofy and sporadically entertaining as their two studio albums, with as many great moments — including their inspired cover of Ian Hunter's "Cleveland Rocks," which was used as the theme song for The Drew Carey Show — as there are downers. And even if these are rarities, there are enough catchy, humorous throwaways here to make it entertaining even for fans that aren't collectors. Of course, casual fans will have to wait for the inevitable hits compilation to get the one definitive Presidents album, but this is a nice addition for dedicated fans, and it's much better than some skeptics would expect.

Biography

Formed: 1990 in Seattle, WA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

The Presidents of the United States of America were one of the most unlikely success stories of the post-grunge alternative rock scene in Seattle. Where the rest of their Seattle brethren traded in heavy guitars and heavy angst, the Presidents rejected torment for humor, writing short, simple, and absurd punk songs that relied more on goofy attitude than sludgy riffs and tormented screams. It was a formula that worked, as the group's...
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Pure Frosting, The Presidents of the United States of America
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