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Ultimate Alternative Wavers

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Album Review

What a mess — from all the sloppy guitar ramblings to the constant rhythm changes assuming that the rest of the band was barely aware of Doug Martsch's tempo swings, Ultimate Alternative Wavers is all over the place. But somehow, Built to Spill bounce off each other by using this technique of improvising what direction the sound is going to next. And with this being their first record, it's almost as if they're taking a cue from the likes of early Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr. when it comes to their more experimental influences. But what keeps it together are Marsch's soulful but bleak vocals, which make lyrics like "nowhere, nothing, f*ck-up" seem like a pleasant singalong.

Customer Reviews

who wrote the main itunes album review?

HEY ITUNES REVIEWER... I think that you were huffing the wrong glue when you first listened to this record (assuming you actually did listen to it). To title your review "what a mess" says that you haven't actually listened to the record at all. Does Doug not look enough like Bono for you to take seriously? Did you accidentally listen to a Temple of the Dog record thinking that it was BTS? Because your review couldn't have been further off base! This is a very tight band with one of the finest rock guitarists, and one of the most interesting post grunge sounds to this date (jan 08). The tempo changes were a blueprint for nearly every "indie" record that you and your high school revelling buddies likely pour all over, and the talent in these three guys would likely tower over every overrated hack combined that you deem so important. Quit listening to Pearl Jam "bro"! Listen again and try to imagine what indie rock would sound like without this record you moron. I bet you work for MTV now don't you? Or is it Clear Channel, I bet it's clear channel huh? Might wanna have a listen to Velvet Underground's Oh! Sweet Nuthin' before you talk sh@t about Nowhere Nothin' F**kup, or do you think VU were messy too? I'm embarrassed for you. Ease up on the Alice in Chains a little guy.

its pretty damn good.

Definalty built to spill's most under rated album. its got great songs like "the first song" and "three years ago today" and "get a life". Although it doesnt have that built to spill sound that u hear today. its still pretty good. As good as keep it like a secret or perfact from now on? way...but i difanlty recomend this album to any bts fan. ya it doesent sound like thier best what..give it a chance to see what a great album it really is..

underrated and unappreciated

definitly underrated, but not the best. This is a great album, but if you are looking for a real taste of built to spill go buy "perfect from now on", or for a more catchy feel "Theres nothing wrong with love". Anything by this band will floor you, so try it all!!


Formed: 1992 in Boise, ID

Genre: Alternative

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

Built to Spill were one of the most popular indie rock acts of the '90s, finding the middle ground between postmodern, Pavement-style pop and the loose, spacious jamming of Neil Young. From the outset, the band was a vehicle for singer/songwriter/guitarist Doug Martsch, who revived the concept of the indie guitar hero just as Dinosaur Jr.'s J Mascis -- another important influence -- was beginning to fade from the limelight. On record, Martsch the arranger crafted intricate, artfully knotted tangles...
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