attracted a music industry buzz as an indie band to watch almost immediately upon their emergence in the West Coast music scene. Their blend of glam rock, punk, metal, psychedelia, and pop provided a flamboyant alternative to the unadorned buzz of the Nirvana
-inspired grunge sound that dominated indie rock from Seattle on down the coast. The band formed when grunge was at its peak, in 1993. Singer and bass player Michael Angelos
, a U.S.C. film school grad and a founding member of a kid rock band from the '70s, met guitarist/keyboardist Michael Barragon in an L.A. bar and drummer Norm Block
at a Taoist retreat. The three recorded their first EP for the L.A.-based indie label Boys Life, but the band had not yet fully defined their sound and the record was soon outdated as a reflection of Plexi
's work. Fortunately, a successful self-booked tour of Seattle resulted in an opportunity to record a second EP for the Seattle-based punk label I.F.A. That EP, as well as the growing buzz surrounding the band's nationwide concert appearances, attracted the attention of several larger independent labels, and in 1996, their first full-length album, Cheer Up
, was released by SubPop.