What a bizarre story. A bit like Ten but with way fewer sales and hits. “Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong” hit #17 in December of 1992. “Two Princes” hit #7 in April of 1993. (The album came out in August 1991.) When this came out, the world was apparently not yet ready for it. I’m only half joking.
All I knew of Spin Doctors were those hits. I had no idea what they sounded like. And, honestly, at least when I was too young to know better, I sort of associated them with Stone Temple Pilots and other grunge bands verging into post grunge. Oops.
But they’re a jam band, sort of. They sort of remind me of Blind Melon with less jamming and worse songs, in how they have this alternative aesthetic but clearly like music of a certain era. (Though Spin Doctors were first.) As someone else wrote, they’re sort of like an abbreviated jam band, rarely actually breaking out. And when they do, they overstay their welcome.
The biggest problem is the lack of songs. There are 3 or 4 that I remember when I’m done listening and two of those I already knew pretty well because they were everywhere when I was in my tweens. I feel like they would be a lot better known and just more enjoyable if they’d found a way to write better songs. (Alternatively, maybe they needed to let go more. I don’t know.)
Otherwise, I mostly like the aesthetic I just don’t like it enough. I don’t love Barron’s voice but my bigger issue is that I know of at least one other band that did this better. (And then that band went and did something different that was much better, but that’s another story.)
There are so many albums like this from the early ’90s, where a band got lumped in with alternative rock because they were playing music that was manifestly not Hair Metal. It feels as though Spin Doctors got famous (briefly) because they managed to get two hits off their album, something most of those other bands couldn’t manage. (It did take them forever, of course.) And I just know that I prefer so many bands that didn’t get those hits, because they were just more interesting.