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Ten Underrated Sub Pop Albums That Could Bring Back the Seattle Supersonics

Lots of crazy stuff happened in 1986 via the wacky Washington worlds of arts, politics, entertainment, and horticulture: Rick Moranis’ “Little Shop of Horrors” hit movie theaters and subsequently changed mantras for all nerds/oral surgeons moving forward till eternity, The Windy City, New York City passed its first lesbian and gay rights legislation, proving the paradox that NY is both ahead/behind the times, a show that would not have been approved in 2024, Emmy Winning/accent stealing “Perfect Strangers,” launched its first of many TV seasons, and Sub Pop formed by Bruce “Not Prichard” Pavitt, and Jonathan “It’s A” Poneman. Not too long after the label’s inception, a trio of young lads from Aberdeen came along and would soon chang the music landscape, and Sub Pop joined uncool dweebs’ vocabulary along with Jem, who was truly outrageous, truly, truly, truly outrageous. We listed the top ten most underrated Sub Pop albums below.

Chixdiggit! “Self-Titled” (1996)

We want to state one ground rule about this top ten underrated Sub Pop album piece in alphabetical order: Power bottom acts like Nirvana, The Postal Service, Soundgarden, and Falling In Reverse are not mentioned below as no one believes that they are underappreciated. Well, the toilet seat’s coming down for the conservative/beautiful Calgary, the Trump-loving city in Alberta, Canada’s Chixdiggit!. Not only is said band approved by heroin but Fat Mike also vouches for ‘em, but not entirely as they weren’t good enough for his main label, making it impossible for the members of Chixdiggit! to quit their jobs. This self-titled album is the tits, and Sub Pop put it out.

Dwarves “Blood Guts & Pussy” (1990)

Let’s keep the punk energy flowing like King Cobra Premium Malt Liquor 40-ounce glass bottles with some blood/guts/pussy from the “Blood Guts & Pussy” LP. Dwarves have album covers/titles that make ‘em the 2 Live Crew of aggressive music, flesh tantrums, whatever “Sfvd” stands for, and nice rhyming hymns about helicopters and butterflies. Blag Dahlia? He who cannot be named? The Suburban Nightmare? Like the aforementioned Chixdiggit!, Dwarves eventually released music via another punk rock mega label with street cred in the suburbs, this one being Epitaph “We Put Out The Matches’ “Decomposer” & Matchbook Romance’s ‘Voices’” Records. Back to Sub Pop: SP put out the monumental fourteen minutes over the course of thirteen songs and you need to go revisit it right now.

Fruit Bats “Mouthfuls” (2003)

Make it so, make it so, El Capitano, Eric D. Johnson with those sweet ass Laurel Canyon fingerpickings, gorgeous by definition vocal harmonies, melodically melodic melodramatic melatonin sensibilities that echo The Decemberists. 2003’s “Mouthfuls” is enough to land Fruit Bats, an obviously unwelcome picnic act, to the Sub Pop party consisting solely of bleach in circles. While 2011’s LP “Tripper,” also released via SP, reached the Top 15 of Billboard’s Heatseekers, most Audioslave fans like you have no clue who Fruit Bats are. No archers of loaf will infect this day tripper and McCartney/Lennon’s longings about a one way ticket, yeah, will permeate through Johnson’s words/musical framework. Some things are just slow growers, and we hope that these veggies rival the Empire State Building/state of mind.

Green River “Dry as a Bone/Rehab Doll” (1990)

Betting on Green River’s inclusion here was a certainly safe bet for Professor X but likely not for Person Y: Swallow your pride if you don’t support this and relisten to “Dry As A Bone/Rehab Doll” in or outside of this town. Seattle, Washington’s Green River are often called the first grunge band but we aren’t really sure what that even means at this point. Were they the first to tie a flannel shirt around their waist while playing a show? Tough to say, but hey, Green River features members of Pearl Jam, so that’s something.

LVL UP “Return to Love” (2016)

Five men on the ridge, an overabundance of pain, the band GORILLAZ, and a band inspired by the NES classic Dr. Mario, Purchase, New York’s LVL UP grew via orchards and boundaries over the course of their 2010s career and “Return to Love.” Fans of cooler music than you LOVE this band, and fans of worse music than you don’t exist. And liking music is supposed to be a competition, LVL UP can help you dominate your friends if you just give them a chance.

Orville Peck “Pony” (2019)

Possibly the most successful album in this piece, we affirm that the Orville Peck and specifically “Pony” deserves their flowers in this piece and every single subsequent one about popcorn. Screamo teen sensation Willie Nelson approves quite brazenly of the Orville, so why shouldn’t you? You think you’re cooler in ANY way than Willie or Woody Harrelson? Think again, Buck-O and/or cowboy! A small town don’t like it when somebody falls between sexes and a small town don’t like it when a cowboy has feelings for men, but Warner Records does. Stampede coming soon, ladies/germs, and Peckheads must unite about this inclusion!

Seaweed “Four” (1993)

Tacoma, Washington’s Seaweed is a more straight up alt-rock grunge/punk adjacent band here, but that is NOT a bad thing; it’s just something that we noticed after cutting through the sand with our metal gazer. Still, we’re pretty sure that a band name like Spook & the Zombies would or could exist today, but those are just the thoughts in our head. Leopards and Geico both concur that your head needs help and that Seaweed is good for it! Kids like candy, and, in fairness, card tricks. Something you all need to know: Producer Jack Encino is one of the unsung heroes of the Pacific Northwest and Sub Pop, and murdered behind the boards for the album “Four,” and the marijuana of the ocean, Seaweed. Get it? Like “sea” for “ocean” and “marijuana” for “weed”?

Tacocat “This Mess Is a Place” (2019)

Easily the best band name of all time next to Washington’s other export known as Anberlin, Tacocat, the palindrome act in a sea of Madamimadams, provided a hologram of mid-’90s femme icons Juliana Hatfield, Veruca Salt, The Muffs, and Etta James new world influences on 2019’s “This Mess Is a Place,” the feline act’s first full-length studio effort for Sub Pop. Tacocat is rad because they sound like a paradox of what’s current AND a throwback, and that’s nearly all we have to say about that; it stops existing. Let’s build a bridge to Hawaii with unintelligible oozin ahhs and mindless chatter. You’re a cliche, useless in every way, so stop taking up the whole sidewalk.

The Vaselines “Enter The Vaselines…” (1992)

Rockabilly icon Kurt Cobain said it best during Nirvana’s live version from the super deluxe version of “Nevermind,” and not their game changer “Live from TRL” LP, “Jesus Doesn’t Want Me For a Sunbeam,” so we can’t beat him, but we won’t join him, “This song is written by a band called The Vaselines, they’re from Edinburgh, Scotland, and they’re very punk rock.” Don’t expect us to cry. It’s never too late to discover their gem of a record that contained very likely the longest time period ever creating an album title, “Enter The Vaselines…”. Never. Too. Late. You think you’re a man, but, man, Rory rides YOU raw. Also, it’s difficult to find too many better opening album songs than “Son Of A Gun,” which starts with tremors and other noises falling into 50s-esque guitar sounds, builds into a splendor of beauty, and completes with an epic fadeout, bitch.

Velocity Girl “Simpatico!” (1994)

Let’s give it up for the last of ten Sub Pop albums, “Simpatico!” to be alphabetically ranked in a non-subjective article: The movie film “Clueless” wasn’t, uh, clueless about Silver Spring, Maryland’s Alaskan Crabs known as Velocity Girl, but your second cousin Tricia who works for a pyramid scheme like Cutco Knives sure is. Velocity Girl owes Primal Scream a few thousandth of a penny’s royalties for several streams and we will forever lie in a sweaty yet sensual sea(weed) of impatience and unrest until said Distrokid balance is transferred to your savings account via the unproblematic Zelle, as it is automatic and stupid dumb dumb PayPal takes fees. Sorry again, diamond jubilees! SIMPATICO!