Friday, September 19, 2008

Lifter - Melinda (Interscope, 1996)

You may know Lifter's Jeffrey Sebelia as the heavily tattooed winner of the third season of the TV show Project Runway. Years before Sebelia got involved with fashion, he was playing bass with this Interscope Records-signed post-grunge band. After forming in 1992, Lifter released several independent singles and a split with the Campfire Girls before signing with Interscope, who released their debut full-length, Melinda (Everything Was Beautiful and Nothing Hurt), in 1996.

Lifter emerged from the same Los Angeles scene that was home to several other great forgotten bands like Plexi, Gwenmars, The Campfire Girls, and Shufflepuck. Perhaps somewhat of a cliche of the L.A. scene, Lifter frontman Mike Coulter (as well as Sebelia) struggled with drug problems, and Interscope Records actually put Coulter through rehab before releasing the record. Melinda, named after Coulter's ex-girlfriend, manages to borrow heavily from the Cobain school of songwriting, without sounding simply like a Nirvana clone. The single "402" was a minor hit at college radio, but this unfortunately did not translate to album sales, and the band quickly became what allmusic describes as "the forgotten heroes of 90s teen angst". Lifter's music would later appear in the season three finale of Project Runway in 2006.

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1 comment:

JR said...

great album - still gives me chills to this day. Can buy 5 of the songs they demoed for their follow up album on facecrime.com (I hope you still can) and read Wrecking Crew by John Albert if you are interested in what happened to the band and its members post-breakup (in addition to season 3 of Project Runway).