14 Songs, 1 Hour 13 Minutes

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About Mike Coulter

The raw, confessional lyrics and seething anger of Lifter's Mike Coulter (vocals, guitar) can be compared to Nirvana's late Kurt Cobain and Everclear's Art Alexakis. However, Coulter isn't a copycat; his songs, like Cobain's and Alexakis', are inspired by adolescent rage and the emotional confusion of early adulthood. In 1992, Coulter formed Lifter in Silverlake, CA, with Jeff Sebelia (bass) and John Rozas (drums). After recording a number of singles for Fingerpaint, Triple X, and Boy's Life Records, Lifter was signed to Interscope Records. However, Coulter had to agree to undergo rehab for heroin addiction before the group could receive its contract. Lifter released their debut album Melinda (Everything Was Beautiful and Nothing Hurt) in 1996. Melinda was named after Coulter's ex-girlfriend, and several tracks, including "Monkee," "Big and Tall," and "Yardcow," seemingly target his former lover. She is also thanked in the liner notes. The song "402" was briefly spun on alternative radio stations; in addition, the video for "The Rich, Dark, Sultry Red of Hate" was shown on MTV's 120 Minutes. But rave reviews and airplay did not prevent Melinda from eventually colliding into the cutout bins. Despite Coulter's deeply personal lyrics, music fans weren't able to distinguish Lifter from their similarly grunge-influenced peers. ~ Michael Sutton

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