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BEST KISSERS IN THE WORLD (Buy CDs by this artist)
Best Kissers in the World EP (Sub Pop) 1991
Been There (MCA) 1993
Puddin' EP (MCA) 1993
GERALD COLLIER
I Had to Laugh Like Hell (C/Z) 1996
Gerald Collier (Revolution) 1998
Low Tar Taste (Aces & Eights) 1999

Led by California-born, Michigan-raised and Phoenix resident singer-guitarist Gerald Collier, this snappily monickered band started off as a beautifully scrawny fusion of Cheap Trick/Replacements pop brawn, but quickly lost inspiration, degenerating into tepid riffs and tired melodies. By then based in Seattle, the quartet made its debut with a 7-inch ("Take Me Home," which brilliantly lifts the riff from the untitled live fragment at the end of Cheap Trick's Heaven Tonight LP) and five-track Sub Pop EP that show the Kissers at their best. Produced by the Posies' Jonathan Auer, snotty attitude and power-poparama are driven to the fore, peaking on the awesome "Workin' on Donita" and ending with the jokey country lament "Hungover Together" (a duet with Hammerbox/Goodness singer Carrie Akre).

The five-song Puddin' retains the spirit but loses the irresistible hooks; Been There's title tells all. The band recorded a slightly better album called Yellow Brick Roadkill that disappeared from MCA's release schedule early in '96.

[Jem Aswad]