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LOUD LUCY (Buy CDs by this artist)
Breathe (DGC) 1995

The major-label feeding frenzy that descended on Chicago in the wake of the Smashing Pumpkins, Liz Phair and Veruca Salt catapulted this young trio into the mainstream after only a few live gigs and a single 7-inch on a DIY label. Loud Lucy singer/guitarist/songwriter Christian Lane struggles valiantly to establish some sort of identity on Breathe (produced by Brad Wood, natch), but the combination of big guitar chords and sensitive indie-rocker lyrics — exemplified by would-be anthems like "Not Here" and "On the Table" — never gels. Because Lane can't decide whether he wants to be in Cheap Trick or Pavement, Loud Lucy winds up sounding like Nirvana — or rather, any one of dozens of "alternative rock" Nirvana wannabes: soft verses, loud choruses and not an original idea in hearing range.

[Jim Testa]