Having gigged around San Francisco for three years, Third Eye Blind caught a break when they opened for Oasis in 1996. Liam Gallagher told them they were shit, but record executives were more enamoured, leading to a bidding war that saw the quartet sign a lucrative deal with Elektra for their self-titled debut a year later.
It’s easy to understand the appeal. Third Eye Blind provided a link between alt.rock and mainstream USA, smuggling dark themes – addiction, suicide, abuse – into punchy grunge-pop tunes with big hooks. Nothing exemplified this better than Semi-Charmed Life, a tale of crystal meth dependency (singer and chief songwriter Stephan Jenkins called it their Walk On The Wild Side) that breezes in on a battery of power chords.
Most of the other songs were cut from the same cloth – Graduate, Losing A Whole Year, Good For You – giving the album a homogenous sound somewhere between Green Day and an angrier Busted. The UK remained largely impervious to the band’s charms, though five hit singles helped it go six-times platinum in the States.
This expanded reissue comes with an extra disc of demos and rarities, including a pretty superfluous cover of Velvet Underground’s Heroin.