Admittedly this one's a bit of a stretch to start this list. Athenaeum had some decent success during their time on a major releasing music with Atlantic Records. The problem is that they've never really gotten the credit they deserve. Their debut album, Radiance is one of the most overlooked albums of the 90s. Athenaeum were just as good as similar bands that were coming out at the tail end of the decade, they just didn't get as much attention. They are similar to Vertical Horizon, Stroke 9, and Nine Days but they never had the radio play that that those bands did. They had the songs for it, it just never happened. "What I Didn't Know" is a favorite by most who are familiar with it and "Flat Tire (The Truth)" is one of the best songs from 1998. Over the years, Athenaeum released four records. In 2013 they reissued their self-titled albums (The Green Album and The Blue Album.) From the group guitarist Mike Garrigan has released numerous solo records and Athenaeum frontman Mark Kano has made some outstanding solo music. Kano just released a new single called "Here and Now."
Another band that was somewhat popular in the late 90's, Dovetail Joint made a masterful album with 001. They were local heroes in Chicago playing that scene for a number of years until they got the attention Greg Latterman's Aware Records which had established a relationship with Columbia records at the same time the band was signed. Dovetail got to release an EP just with Aware called the Level EP that featured their song "Level on the Inside." After that, the band released their album 001 which also featured the song and the track, "Beautiful"; that song has one of the coolest intros that you're likely to find and an outstanding solo in the middle of the song. Dovetail Joint had some modest success in their time with their debut album. Like a lot of other bands over the past fifteen years, they never got to make a sophomore record. The label demanded a single and never heard anything that they liked when the band presented them demos. The relationship fizzled between the band and Columbia, too much time passed, Dovetail Joint lost all of their momentum and never recovered. They got to release an EP independently, then they eventually called it quits in 2002 ending a tumultuous four year struggle since moving up and out of the Chicago scene to the mainstream level.
Longtime visitors to Alternative Addiction will instantly recognize the Greenwheel name. They made one of the best albums of 2002, Soma Holiday, that was released with Island/Def Jam. If you're not familiar with the record, and you're a fan of any kind of mainstream rock, you should get acquainted with it. Every song on the record is good and the production to go along with Ryan Jordan's vocals makes for an amazing listen. Some notable highlights form the band include their song, "Shelter" being featured on the soundtrack to the first Spider-Man movie and some minor success with the album's lead single, "Breathe." In fact, one of the craziest stories from music from this era was Greenwheel's song "Breathe" basically being hijacked by their label, recorded by Melissa Etheridge, and then released as a single shortly after the band worked their own version of the song. The band didn't know that Etheridge was recording the song and I'm sure they would have appreciated the extra support behind their version of the song instead of handing it over to somebody else. To their credit, Jordan and Greenwheel didn't say anything negative about Etheridge and were complimentary of her version of the song. While working on a follow-up album after Soma Holiday, the band was dropped by Island/Def Jam during a regime change. They were dropped at the same time as their friends and label mates Injected. They would go on to release an independent EP in 2006 called Bridges For Burning. After promoting that EP the band eventually called it quits. They operated briefly as Go Van Gough in the Missouri area, but eventually they faded out and went back into normal life.
This Florida-based band was deemed part of the post-grunge genre of music, but that's not a fair assessment. Their music was similar to straight-across grunge music, not post-grunge. For some reason everyone thought that 90 percent of rock bands after Nirvana needed be looped under that umbrella, sometimes without any logic whatsoever. Socialburn had two big hits from their Elktra Records debut, Where You Are. "Down" sounded like it was released in 1995, not 2003 and "Everyone" is just a great rock song. On both tracks singer Neil Alday's growl-vocal synchronized itself with every hook imaginable making both songs classics. In fact, a lot of Where You Are is classic. It's another great album that's often overlooked. In 2003 after a successful run with Where You Are, Socialburn dealt with label issues after Elektra Records went into obscurity. The band went on to release some music in 2005 with a joint venture with their management company but eventually their run came to an end. Although Socialburn didn't have tenure, "Where You Are" is a memorable release. Currently former Socialburn frontman Neil Alday went on to found a new band, Neil Alday and Further South. More information can be found on the band's Facebook page here.
Whatever people call the last decade, whether it's the oughts or the o's, they were definitely an up and down era in music. Most of the bands on this list had their best years in the early part of the decade but most of them dealt with the music industry dealing with the digital age poorly during the late 90's and the early part of the 2000's. If the first big fallout for the industry came in 2002 with those bands, then the next big fallout hit in 2006 with bands like Trading Yesterday. Trading Yesterday is still technically around. It's fronted by prolific singer/songwriter David Hodges. Hodges, a former member of Evanescence, broke off from that band to start his own group. He went on to found Trading Yesterday with Mark Colbert and they got the attention of Epic Records. While with Epic, the band's song "One Day" got briefly attached to the soundtrack for the film "Stealth." That would be the only music that Trading Yesterday would release with Epic. The relationship went south and both parties went separate ways, that resulted in the band's debut album - More Than This to be shelved. Almost five years from when the album was supposed to come out, Hodges and Trading Yesterday released the album themselves. You can find it at most digital retailers now. Trading Yesterday is on this list for what might have been, but you can't really chalk up their issues to poor promotion. Trading Yesterday just had bad timing. If they would have come along a few years earlier they would have been massive. Hodges never really suffered with his music career despite the setback with Trading Yesterday. He went on pen massive hits for Christina Perri ("A Thousand Years") and Kelly Clarkson ("Because Of You".) He's still active in songwriting and consistently writes with and for other artists.
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