So why is PUSA’s The Presidents of the United States of America on this best 1,000 albums ever thing?
If you weren’t around at the time, it’s a little hard to explain what a big hit “Lump” was, off of The President of the United States of America’s (a.k.a. PUSA) self-titled debut album. Not only is it a great song in its own right (and we’ll get to that momentarily), but I think the timing of its release was perfect in terms of being an appealingly quirky and “accessible” song that spanned the boundaries between alternative rock – which just at that time in the mid-‘90s was becoming the dominant force in popular music in the U.S. (at the least) – and a form of music we can think of “post-grunge.”
I shouldn’t neglect the band name’s oddness too as part of the overall appeal, coupled with these three dudes in the “Lump” video rocking it up in Clintonian suit and ties. And, most of all, it’s quite clear that they are having a ball jamming out on both swampland and sea.
While it might be easy to think of a fun, quirky song that came out of nowhere as something that could ring the One-Hit Wonder Bell, I’m here to tell you that doing that, my friends, would be a mistake.
Now let’s bring out the peaches.
“Peaches” – which PUSA released as a single and music video after “Lump” – is once again a really (if oddly) good and catchy song in its own right, and trends even more into the area of also being kind of funny and definitely fun at the same time. Which, of course, would allow some to write off the band even more as a novelty act.
What’s funny (too!) in a way is that while I was writing the above the song that played in my head the entire time is the album’s opening track, “Kitty.” And songs like “Feather Pluckn” show off the band’s musical chops (there’s a nice little Hendrix-y flair to the guitar line on this one) and give PUSA the album a nice depth.
Pop culture stuff that has something to do with PUSA’s The Presidents of the United States of America
One cool little quirk about how the band plays music always stuck through me through the years, which is that PUSA… “frontman Chris Ballew would play the two-string ‘basitar’ while original guitarist Dave Dederer would tackle the three-string ‘guitbass.’” This helped to give PUSA a distinctive, fuzzy, and stripped down sound. A grunge without the angst vibe all told, really.
Some stats & info about PUSA – The Presidents of the United States of America
- What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Rock Music, Alternative Rock, Pop Punk, Post-Grunge
- Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
- All Music’s rating – 4 out of 5 stars
- When was The Presidents of the United States of America released? 1995
- My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #558 out of 1,000
PUSA’s The Presidents of the United States of America on Spotify
A lyrical snippet from PUSA’s The Presidents of the United States of America that’s evocative of the album in some way, maybe
Lump lingered last in line for brains, and the one she got was sorta rotten and insane. Small things so sad that birds could land – is lump fast asleep or rockin’ out with the band?
What’s the most interesting thing about the self-titled debut album by the band Presidents of the United States of America that most people don’t know?
The most interesting thing that most people don’t know about the self-titled debut album by the band Presidents of the United States of America is that it was recorded in just four days. Despite the short amount of time spent recording, the album was well-received by critics and audiences, and helped establish the band as a force in the alternative rock scene of the 1990s. The album also features a song called “Lump” which was written by lead singer Chris Ballew and became one of the band’s most popular songs. It was originally written for his daughter, and is about a girl that he never met before but she was in his mind. It was also certified gold in 1996, after selling over 500,000 copies.
What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?
Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.
But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.