The whole idea of grunge getting big feels almost like a mistake in the history books. Amid the rest of the hair metal movement going on at the time, the idea of some nobodies from the Northwest actually gaining traction was virtually impossible. Then again, time works in all sorts of funny ways.
As the era of flannel started to quickly explode across the rock scene, bands like Pearl Jam and Nirvana were getting picked up left and right as the new leaders of rock and roll. Even though they themselves were reluctant to hold the spotlight, there were still a handful of acts who never really found the audience that they should have. Despite many attempts to stay underground, these records have held up surprisingly well over the years as great slices of grungey rock and roll that should have fit right in alongside the Alice in Chains's of the world. Nevertheless, these records have spent years in the shadows, which definitely needs to change once you actually get ahold of what you're hearing.
Even though some of these records may have seemed a bit suspect at the time, the afterglow of these songs has been amazing as the years have gone on. Bust out the flannel and listen to what you've been missing.
10. Self Titled - The Presidents of the United States of America
It's hard not to look at the Presidents of the United States of America as anything more than a joke nowadays. Despite having one of the longer band names of the entire decade, the success of stuff like Peaches almost seem like a fluke in retrospect. On the other hand, their eponymous debut was actually something much more daring than you may have thought.
Then again, do the Presidents etc. really belong in the conversation of grunge? While the actual sound of their songs were pretty much your standard alt-rock of the day, the real magic came in the way they played their instruments. Instead of the traditional rock guitar and bass, both respective guitarists tuned their instruments with both bass and guitar strings to create their trademark gravelly sound. All of a sudden, these stupid songs about fruit and a girl named Lump had the same kind of throaty muscle you would find on a Melvins record.
Those hooks can only take you so far though, with the Presidents quickly falling into obscurity as the rest of the decade made way for more interesting acts like Radiohead and more deplorable acts like Candlebox. Even though grunge wasn't known to be a fun a lot of the time, this was proof that things could occassionally get the slightest bit goofy.