Home Hear Thrift Store Halo Return You To A World Gone Mad

Thrift Store Halo Return You To A World Gone Mad

If ’90s indie-rock albums are like old girlfriends, the Chicago pop-rock power-trio's hook-heavy, radio-friendly debut just might be the one that got away. Until now.

Thrift Store Halo shine up their debut album World Gone Mad for its 25th anniversary with a newly Remastered Deluxe Reissue — showcasing today on Tinnitist.

Originally released on June 5, 1998, the Chicago pop-rock power trio’s album received strong radio support on local stations and favorable reviews. Several tracks were featured on popular televisions shows — If I Go was featured on Smallville and Pensacola Wings of Gold, while Crashing In was heard on an episode of Party of Five. Other tracks were featured on MTV shows such as Parental Control and Making The Video. The band also came in second place in the Disc Maker’s Best Unsigned Bands of 1998 contest. The resulting traction almost netted TSJ the coveted “big record deal” with A&M Records offshoot Almo Sounds, the home of Garbage and Pulsars, among others. But when the deal went south, TSH formed a long-lasting association with the venerable Chicago indie label/publisher Pravda Records.

Now, after more than a quarter-century, the 10-track World Gone Mad — whose title might be even more relevant now than it was in the good old days of the Clinton-era ’90s — has returned, crisply remastered and augmented with half a dozen alternate versions and new mixes. Not that you need any bells and whistles to appreciate the punchy attack, prominent melodies, big choruses and darkly dusty vocals of these tracks. If ’90s indie-rock albums are like old girlfriends, World Gone Mad could be the one that got away. Until now. Thankfully, it’s never to late to fall in love all over again — or for the first time.

Formed in 1994 by singer-bassist and songwriter Frank Gradishar and drummer Scott Proce, Thrift Store Halo could easily be (and often were) compared to local contemporaries such as Material Issue, Fig Dish, Local H or Urge Overkill, as well as more well-known acts such as Suede, Teenage Fanclub, Sugar, The Wallflowers, Gin Blossoms and Velvet Crush. The common thread among all: Well-crafted, hook-heavy, radio-friendly, guitar pop-rock buzzing with loud, crunchy riffs, big drums and earnest, yet unpretentious lyrics and vocals reminiscent of Bob Mould.

Sadly, like countless other bands, global domination was not in the cards for Thrift Store Halo. So Gradishar and Proce took an extended hiatus to, as the pair jokes, “earn money from real jobs to pay off the self-funded recording of the record and numerous bar tabs” at a slew of Chicago’s top venues the band frequently played in ’90s.

In 2012, they were invited to play a one-off support slot for the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame members and British Invasion chart-toppers The Zombies, before slipping away again until a full reunion was mounted in 2016. Since then TSH have released four EPs, a double A-side single, a surprise Christmas track, and contributed a track to the Pop Aid CD benefitting World Central Kitchen’s work in war-torn Ukraine — all with the loyal backing of Pravda and the band’s unofficial fourth member, studio owner and producer Kevin Mucha. Each offering has been greeted by strong FM and internet radio airplay, favorable reviews, indie chart placements and regular inclusions in year-end, lists, proving that being 50-ish has not slowed these veterans from producing memorable, hook-filled songs and stellar live shows.

While past incarnations of TSH were rounded out by different guitarists, including Brent Seatter (Kevin Lee & The Kings), Ed Dulian and Lance Tawzer (Material Issue, The Lupins), finally, in 2022, almost as if by fate, the ideal permanent guitarist, singer and songwriter arrived. Enter Chicago scene legend Cory Hance (Box-O-Cars, The Cells), who immediately bonded with Gradishar and Proce, sharing common influences, drive and talents.

Check out the World Gone Mad Remastered Deluxe Reissue below, and find Thrift Store Halo on their website, Facebook and Instagram.