California quartet Moonpools & Caterpillars
teamed with producer Richard Gottehrer
) for their 1995 debut. Lead singer Kim Ward Encarnacion vocally resembles the Cranberries
' Dolores O'Riordan
. The songs range from the sweet power pop of "Ren," which has a light, jazz-inflected bridge, to the kinetic drive and drumming of "Colossal Youth," to the tribal beat and chants that underpin the breezy "Sundays." The stand-out tracks, though, are the grinding, yearning gem "Soon," which shifts into chiming guitars and features Encarnacion's most passionate vocals, and the lovely midtempo ballad "Heaven." Moonpools & Caterpillars
have offered an album full of winning melodies whose only flaw is a lack of standout hooks.