World of Noise
$32.83 • Audio CD

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A triumph of Northwestern indie-rock, Everclear's debut album was made for a mere $400 and released on Tim/Kerr Records before Capitol snapped the group up in wake of flannelmania. (Sonically, it's better than Nirvana's Bleach which cost a relatively extravagant $200 more.) And while musical simplicity is part of the band's genius--guitars grind and spew distortion while the rhythm section hammers the beat into submission--there's nothing simplistic about bandleader Art Alexakis's lyrics. "You wonder why I live like this, man, you just won't understand / I won't give in, I'm not like that," he sings in "Loser Makes Good," a song about convictions and staying true to your dreams--which could have been written by Garth Brooks if it didn't also contain the line "I hate waking up, it means that I have to die again." "World of Noise" is somewhat less listener-friendly than its big budgeted successors, Sparkle and Fade and So Much for the Afterglow , but it's a clear indication of why Everclear managed to survive while the other Nirvana-be's fell by the wayside. --Daniel Durchholz

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