5. Pavement Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
Arguably the most radio-friendly of the five albums of perfectly imperfect indie rock released by the band in the 1990s, Pavement’s sophomore effort Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain is a record that oozes sunshine, beer and good times.
The Stockton band’s home state of California features heavily in the album’s lyrical narrative, and the overall vibe of the record – with its casual and appealingly ramshackle melodicism – is carefree and fun.
The laid back, country-tinged jangle of ‘Range Life’ is the centrepiece of the album, and the wittily nostalgic ‘Gold Soundz’ and tongue-in-cheek ‘Cut Your Hair’ even briefly threatened to push Pavement into the mainstream.
A classic of the American underground that just has to be played out on the road.
Try also: Pavement Wowee Zowee (Matador, 1995). Brighten The Corners (Matador, 1997).