In 1995, as the grunge wave slowly petered away, mainstream alt-pop acts began popping up on the radio, and Better Than Ezra was on the welcome wagon with its chart topping single "Good" from the album Deluxe. But BTE had formed in 1988 as a punk-country hybrid, while members Kevin Griffin (guitar, lead vocals), Joel Rundell (guitar), Tom Drummond (bass) and Cary Bonnecaze (Drums) were still in college. While the group's first release in 1990, a cassette called Surprise, sold well to the college bar crowds they played to around Louisiana State University, their momentum came to a standstill when Rundell committed suicide. After a short break to clear the air, BTE reformed as a trio and immediately relocated to Los Angeles, where they recorded Deluxe, which was reissued in 1995, two years after it debuted, by Elektra Records. With a platinum album in their pockets, the band went into the studio with a new drummer, Travis McNabb, to record a new album - 1996's Friction, Baby, which, even with the help of strong singles such as "Desperately Wanting" and "King of New Orleans," didn't perform as well as Deluxe. After another album failed to make the charts, BTE returned to the indie scene, signing with Beyond Music, and releasing their most pop-candy album so far, Closer. In 2005, they released their latest album, Before the Robots, and have toured extensively since to promote it.
With their catchy melodies, feel good songs and overall southern charm, it's hard not to love this Cajun trio. In addition to their albums, which all embody a unique voice on their own, Better Than Ezra is the kind of band you have to see live to truly appreciate their value. Like their Canadian counterparts, Barenaked Ladies, who, admittedly are more successful, they put so much energy into the live show, stringing songs together with medleys, involving the audience and overall throwing a party every time they hit the stage, it's a shame more people don't know about them. 2001's album, "Closer," their lightest work to date, may achieve their fun status better than any other release and its worth listening to the cohesiveness with which they put the album together.