If Nirvana and Pearl Jam are any indication, to be a hip rocker requires a bleaker-than-thou attitude. Too much gloom can give a listener a headache, though, which is where the Lemonheads come in. This Boston-based band has a less alienating, almost folky feel. On their second major-label disc, head Lemon Evan Dando writes songs that get loud without getting on your nerves—from the peppy, twangy "Rollin' Stroll" to mid-tempo material like the Dylan-esque title track.
While grunge rockers mumble and bemoan, Dando tends toward wistful meditation. Blending less strident rock with personable lyrics makes for music that puts you at ease rather than on edge. (Atlantic)