Critic’s wish list: 5 alt-rock band reunions


Today, music website The Quietus has confirmed that Courtney Love is reuniting Hole’s “Celebrity Skin”-era line-up.

Kudos to her, as that’s a great record and it’ll be interesting to see what that bunch still has left in the tank.

With Hole getting back together, it got me to thinking about what other ’90s alt-rock reunions I’d like to see.

Here are five that I wouldn’t want to miss:

Bikini Kill. The riot grrl Rosetta Stone that was Bikini Kill’s “Pussy Whipped” will always be seen as the band’s defining moment, but it’s the group’s farewell album, 1996’s “Reject All-American,” that resonates with the most emotional depth and a more constructive anger. Too bad they called it quits shorty thereafter. I’d love to hear “Tony Randall” live all these years later.

Mr. Bungle. Has any band ever made three records more distinct from one another than Bungle did beginning with the puerile circus music riot of their self-titled debut, the free-range experimentation of 1995’s wholly inscrutable “Disco Volante” and the sun-baked pop of 1999’s “California”? This bunch needs to reunite just so we can see where they go next.

Cows. Rivaling Mr. Bungle in terms of sheer unpredictability, it’s easier to juggle live fish than encapsulate these Minneapolis noise rock square pegs. Anything went as this bunch plowed through surrealist underground classics like “Orphan’s Tragedy” and “Sorry In Pig Minor.” Live, they were even more unhinged, with a frontman Shannon Selberg, who you didn’t know whether to applaud or flee from.

Zen Guerilla. One of the most underrated bands of their day, Zen Guerilla was deconstructing/destroying the blues before every band from Detroit was doing the same a decade later. Their last two records, 1999’s “Trance State in Tongues” and 2001’s “Shadows on the Sun,” are scuzzball R&B freak-outs that detonate with harmonica melting fury.

Screaming Trees. Cameos with Queens of the Stone Age aside, isn’t it about time we heard Mark Lanegan front a rock band again? The Trees’ last record, 1996’s “Dust,” was as great as it was overlooked. You could say the same thing about the band’s entire career, really.

Contact reporter Jason Bracelin at jbracelin@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0476. Follow on Twitter @JasonBracelin.