Formed in Washington, D.C., in 1986, Shudder to Think would go on to become one of alternative rock's most unpredictable and influential groups. Comprised of vocalist Craig Wedren, Stuart Hill, Mike Russell and Chris Matthews, the band recorded songs bit by bit and released a few singles before putting out their 1989 debut album, Curse, Spells, Voodoo, Mooses. The album put the band's eclecticism and range of styles front and center, and garnered the attention of the recording industry. They signed with Dischord shortly thereafter and started releasing albums of varying quality at a fairly regular pace. By 1997 the band was recording soundtracks for films, and single-handedly recorded and released the entire soundtrack for the movies High Art and First Love, Last Rites. The guitarist who replaced departed member Chris Matthews, Nathan Larson left the band soon thereafter and the entire group decided to follow suit and call it quits.
You never really know what you're going to get when you crack open a Shudder to Think album. Happy, sad, rockin', melancholy, heavy, loud, quiet? You can never really tell for sure, as the group was dedicated to keeping fans guessing for their entire career, which is at least partially why they're still so admired nearly 10 years after they broke up. People may focus a bit on their later work, which tended to be a little heavier and a little more electronic/ambient in places, but their early career is really where it's all at. Featuring terrific albums like their brilliant and excellently named debut, Curse Spells, Voodoo, Mooses, and the blink-and-you'll-miss-it Get Your Goat from 1992, Shudder to Think was successfully able to blend wildly divergent styles and generate a sound that was surprisingly consistent. Shudder to think what you're missing.