WHO: Blind Melon THE CASE AGAINST: The one-hit wonders only briefly emerged from the alt-rock ether thanks to that cute bee-girl video for 1993's ear-clawingly annoying ''No Rain.'' THE TRUTH: The Los Angeles-based quintet of experimental rockers was one of the most underrated and tragically short-lived bands of the 1990s. Though critics dismissed singer Shannon Hoon as a stoned hippie, they overlooked his often pained, poetic lyrics (see ''I Wonder'' and ''Toes Across the Floor'') and ragged, hypnotic vocals, which somehow recalled both Janis Joplin and Richie Havens. Add Jim Morrison's swagger and you have one of the most wackily charismatic frontmen in recent memory. And while most mid-'90s alt-rockers shunned everything but Nirvana-fied punk and angst, Blind Melon sought out inspirations as diverse as Lynyrd Skynyrd, Joni Mitchell, and Pink Floyd. Hoon died of a drug overdose in 1995, after just two albums, and the band faded into pop-rock history. They'll be remembered fondly -- at least by some of us.
LISTEN 2: Their debut, Blind Melon (1992), is great, but the real gem is its shamefully overlooked follow-up, Soup (1995).