Pseudopod by Pseudopod
This is one with which you may not be familiar.
Pseudopod has an interesting story. Back in 2000, they won a nationwide contest sponsored by Rolling Stone for the best college band in America. They used the winnings from this contest to produce their demo which caught the ear of some Interscope bigwigs who later signed them to produce their self-titled album. Then they basically fell off the face of the Earth.
The quintet was made of Kevin Carlberg singing and strumming, Ross Grant playin' lead, Tim McGregor on kit, Brian Fox on bass, and Matt Keegan blowin' sax.
If you're a fan of OAR, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Dispatch, or Spin Doctors then you're probably a fan of Pseudopod too. The group has a very almost-but-not-quite jam band sound. All the musicians are great players and more tracks than not feature some sort of instrumental solo or jam. Check out the album's fifth track, "Dante" for some excellent organ and sax goodness and then track eight, "Music Maker" for a sweet breakdown with some great percussion, guitar, and sax build-up.
In addition to some quality playing, the songwriting on this album ain't no slouch either. I don't know which member is responsible, but whoever it is uses their noodle. "Shrinks" (track four) is a thoughtful tune about folks trying to fix their problems with band-aids instead of medicine if you get my drift:
Models, movies, hollywood pulled the trigger
intoxicate your minds deliver yourselves a better figure.
Overnight cellulite is implanted,
wish for the perfect body is granted.
What's a body if you don't have brains?
You're lookin' a cliche,
but your mind still remains the same.
Searchin' for the one who will be a companion
finding yourself alone and abandoned,
in a word full of hate not optimistic,
a world thats stuck for materialistic.
Pleasure is measured all hope and no virtue
relax and ill tell you...
Other lyrical standouts are "Dante," "Never Mind the Matter," "All Over You," and "Village Fool."
In conclusion, Pseudopod is a gem on which a lot of folks missed out. They're exposure was quite limited like their longevity. Nonetheless they were a solid band who put out some solid music. I highly recommend givin' them a spin if you're impressed with groups like Dave Matthews Band, Spin Doctors, or Ulu.