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Toad The Wet Sprocket – Their 13 Best B-Sides

Alternative/acoustic rock band Toad the Wet Sprocket released ”New Constellation,” their first studio album in 16 years, this week, so I thought it might be a good time to stroll down ’90s memory lane and look at their impressive catalog of work, but instead of focusing on the hits (“All I Want,” “Fall Down,” “Good Intentions,” etc.), I thought it might be more interesting to talk about their lesser known songs.

In the early ’90s, while everyone else was listening to Soundgarden and Pearl Jam, I was listening to Genesis, Pink Floyd, Styx, and other oldies but goodies from the classic rock genre. There really wasn’t a modern band I was a fan of until Toad the Wet Sprocket came along. When I originally heard “Walk on the Ocean,” their first big hit, on the radio, I thought, “This doesn’t sound like anything else right now” (how I
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Toad The Wet Sprocket – New Constellation Review

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Toad the Wet Sprocket wants you to know they’re happy. On “New Constellation,” their first studio album in 16 years (and also their only album named after a song, not counting their best-of compilation “P.S.: A Toad Retrospective,” and I don’t), Glen Phillips, the lead singer/rhythm guitarist/main songwriter sings about happy accidents, love lost but then quickly regained, and just plain love of everything. (The chorus of the title track, which was once featured on the website of “Rolling Stone,” affirms, “Declare my love to all creation!”) Even on the country-tinged “California Wasted,” when he sings, “I still make the same mistakes,” he sounds downright enthusiastic. And unlike their last studio album, “Coil,” which featured a song with the line, “Life is suffering,” there’s actually a song on “New Constellation” titled “Life Is Beautiful,” sung and cowritten by lead guitarist Todd Nichols.
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Toad The Wet Sprocket Was A Very Strange Band Name Indeed: Wake-Up Video

Think what you will about the alternative rock revolution of the 1990s, but you can't deny that it made mainstream pop and rock slightly more interesting. A mainstream radio band — the old versions of something like Maroon 5 or the Fray — could look a little bit shaggy and sound a little bit dirty. It split the difference nicely, and while bands like Gin Blossoms are often remembered as mild diversions, they actually sounded way more rocking than anybody remembers.

For the sake of shortcuts, let's call it "Friends" rock, as just about all the bands who fall into that category (including Hootie and the Blowfish, the Rembrandts, Barenaked Ladies and the like) appeared on the soundtrack to "Friends" (and would have been enjoyed by fans of the long-running sitcom). Toad the Wet Sprocket also falls into that category, and though the California quartet (who recently reunited for a full-time return
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