Home Read Classic Album Review: Oleander | Unwind

Classic Album Review: Oleander | Unwind

This Sacramento outfit bandwagon-jump every guitar-rock trend of the past decade.


This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


There’s no reason in the world to like Oleander’s third album Unwind.

This Sacramento outfit shamelessly bandwagon-jump practically every guitar-rock trend of the past decade here: Cheap Trickish ’70s pop-rock (Jimmy Shaker Day borrows He’s a Whore’s opening riff), Nirvana-based post-grunge (Yours if You Like smells like the Cliff Notes for a course in Cobain 101), testosterone-rich funk-metal (Are You There? moshes along to the sort of rubber-band, detuned E-string lick even Fred Durst would find tiresome), earnest Westerbergian Goo-Goo balladry (Halo wears its heart on its flannel sleeve), and so on. They’re even proud of it — “evolution’s overrated,” proclaims singer Thomas Flowers at one point. And why shouldn’t they? Truth is, this CD will probably be a huge hit — like the crafty forgers they are, Oleanders’ addictively hooky replications are so flawless, only the trained ear could tell them from the originals. No, there’s no reason to like this CD, but I wouldn’t be surprised if millions do.