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Hitsville's "Signing Frenzy" Alternative-Rock Tipsheet, Winter '95 Edition

Background/Buzz/Goods/Going Places?

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Catherine

Shoegazery, ax-heavy ensemble led by Neil Jendon, Jerome Brown

Mentored by Billy Corgan; signed to TVT; first video, "Songs About Girls," scores bit of MTV play

First TVT album, Sorry, pleasant but not ground breaking

Sorry three months in CMJ top ten; on tour with Suede

Certain Distant Suns

Venturesome pop-based suburban combo led by talented sampling geek Justin Mroz

Warner subsidiary Giant picked up early EPs, just released as Happy on the Inside

Impressive if uncanny ability to capture disparate sound of mid-80s John Hughes movie sound track

Perhaps with Eric Stoltz, Molly Ringwald cameos in video

Fig Dish

Power-pop foursome led by Blake Smith and Rick Ness

None; though signed by PolyGram subsidiary Atlas

After several not-so-hot local releases, Brad Wood-produced demo caught ear of label

Learning curve suggests band hasn't yet peaked, but too soon to tell

Hum

Hard-driving tough rock from Champaign

Signed by RCA, least competent of majors alternativewise

One droney, nothing-spectacular release, Electra 2000, distributed through Cargo

Unclear; band hasn't yet demonstrated major league talent

Lupins

More than slightly ridiculous pop-for-preteens outfit fronted by cartoony "Stoley"

See Hum

RCA debut due out soon; song appropriately included on Dumb and Dumber sound track

National success may represent end of rock music as we know it

Loud Lucy

Boisterous, catchy, very young trio led by Christian Lane

Signed to Geffen, home of the hits

Nice single, "I'll Wait," out on local indie March

Rerecording first album at Idful after false start with Seattle's Jack Endino

Stabbing Westward

Unpleasant suburban faux-industrial lava dispensers

Zilch

Ungodly noise on ambitiously bad 1994 Columbia debut, Ungod

Album stiffed

Trenchmouth

Heavy Rage Against the Machine-ish industrial funk

Some fanzine support; signed by Electra's East/West

Band needs more in the way of riffs, hooks, songs to be taken seriously on national level

Doubtful

Triple Fast Action

Former Rights of the Accused boys Wes Kidd, Brian St. Clair put together bashy quartet

Name captures live Zen, hides pop smarts beneath; after bidding war, signed to Capitol personally by big cheese Gary Gersh

Nice current single on Limited Potential: zoomy "Revved Up," b/w charming "Sally Tree"

Band recording full album in NYC with Don (Screaming Trees, Teenage Fanclub) Fleming

Veruca Salt

Breeders-y combo fronted by songwriting double threat of Nina Gordon and Louise Post

Signed by Geffen last year; debut American Thighs climbing charts

Hooks, dynamics, gal's-life lyrics mesh well

American Thighs gold; MTV awaits second single, punny "Number One Blind"

WickerMan

Tres heavy hep-metal purists

Tres little; signed by BMG subsidiary Imago

Band's attack on eponymous Imago debut convincing but marginal by definition

Imago collapses; band in limbo

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Photos/Brad Miller; Mark Smalling; Marty Perez; Dave Callahan; Amy Guip; Michael Hay; Charles Simokaitis; Alison Dyer.

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