Our Lady Peace
If you're tired of all the guitar-toting, angst-singing, loud-soft-songwriting boll weevils that sprang up in the mid-90s, you probably didn't give Our Lady Peace much of a chance. That's unfortunate, because they are one of the more ambitious and distinctive members of the lot. Their debut album Naveed (1995) revealed a love of Zeppelin and Pearl Jam. Songs such as "Birdman" rocked with a zealous fervor: singer Raine Maida sounds as if he's going to collapse and start convulsing with each passing verse. The band began expanding their sonic palette with Clumsy (1997) and upped the ante with the ponderously named, Happiness... Is Not a Fish You Can Catch in 1999. That album possesses a vision and ambition that, at times, mirrors the sonic antics of Radiohead -- the downer moods come off as uplifting, with dense arrangements and soaring vocals. Don't write Our Lady Peace off just yet; they'll keep striving to win the cynics over.