The 90s were known for a brooding style of rock music, widely known as grunge or “the Seattle Sound,” based on its city of origin. Of course, most people associate grunge with Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and Nirvana. However, not all of the 90s, and the rock that followed in the same vein, strictly smelled like teen spirit.
Here is a handy-dandy playlist of some of the most underrated grunge songs of the 1990s, perfect for exploring your inner wintry angst–because spring can’t come soon enough.
Start it off with “Pain Lies On the Riverside” from Live’s 1991 debut album, Mental Jewelry, a rousing and energetic song that brings out all the best of Live’s sound.
Next, sit back to “Starseed,” from the Canadian grunge band Our Lady Peace, of which not many people have heard. Needless to say, they’re featured heavily on this playlist.
Fuel’s “Sunburn” provides enough uplifting meditation and emotional vocals to power you through the day.
Return to Our Lady Peace for their soaring anthem of confusing lyrics, “Superman’s Dead.” It’s too bad this song never got that much airplay – it’s pretty awesome, despite that I’m not sure what the lead singer means at the end — “The world’s a subway” may not make much sense, but it sure is catchy.
Unlike most of their work, Alice in Chains was very mellow in their 1994 EP “Jar of Flies,” a decision that made for some amazing tracks. “No Excuses” is one of them.
Live took on a Latin sound with “The Beauty of Gray,” and its hooks will keep you humming.
More of a post-grunge band, Puddle of Mudd’s “Drift and Die” evokes the same sentiments of a lot of the songs on this playlist, with strong acoustic guitars and harmonies.
Our Lady Peace’s sound becomes even more distinct in “Stealing Babies (Featuring Elvin Jones),” creating a sound that is reminiscent but edgier than their more mainstream “Superman’s Dead.”
Candlebox’s “Far Behind” almost sounds like a Live song. It’s almost as good, too.
Fuel’s “Bittersweet” is an energetic grunge song that sounds very country-fried.
In “Car Crash,” listen to Our Lady Peace at its most brooding. And arguably, at its most powerful.
Alice in Chains’ “Don’t Follow” starts as a country ballad and ends with a grunge exclamation point. The transition, starting around 2:39, is not to be missed.
Live’s “Horse” serves perfectly as a coda to this playlist of underrated 90s grunge rock.
If it’s still winter or if it’s still raining, then just hit replay!