Alex Pasternack
September 05, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

WHO: Spin Doctors

THE CASE AGAINST: While their early-’90s hits ”Two Princes” and ”Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong” were as addictive to frat boys as cheap beer, Spin Doctors lead singer Chris Barron’s self-indulgent warble and rootsy lyricism lacked the flavor to lure listeners back for more. By the time the band’s experimental second album came out, their tiresome pseudo-hippie image had played out on MTV, and no amount of spin could save them.

THE TRUTH: Guitarist Eric Schenkman’s knack for combining blues-rock licks and contagious pop melodies proved the band could rise above tie-dyed corniness and watery jam-band fare. And their cheery singles were refreshing at a time when American rock was growing angrier. Even though they couldn’t compete with the nihilism of Nirvana and the like, the band’s optimism and fusion sensibility paved the way for Blues Traveler and Dave Matthews Band. But if you still want to call them two-hit wonders, just go ahead now.

LISTEN 2: The debut, ”Pocket Full of Kryptonite” (1991), or, for a taste of their vigorous stage performance, ”Homebelly Groove…Live” (1992).

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