Nirvana's Nevermind, supposedly the big fat classic of the '90s (Rolling Stone naming Cobain Artist of the Decade is proof enough of the underserved overpraise lavished on Nirvana), is basically "Smells Like Teen Spirit" repeated over so many songs, with only two exceptions.
American Thighs, on the other hand, shows Nina Gordon and Louise Post's deep understanding of songwriting and diversity.
At their most ferocious, the Gordon/Post partnership can generate searing, heartfelt, yet also intelligently worded rock that beats any posing Cobain might do with his smashed guitar and oh-woe-is-me attitude. "Seether" was the deserved radio smash, but there's also the whispered, deceptive menace of "All Hail Me" with its beautiful harmonies concealing a murderous lyric; "Get Back", the best Smashing Pumpkins grind of the past ten years, beating the Pumpkins at their own game; "25", opening with a feral guitar riff and ending in dripping teenage longing, and an acute document on young sexuality and confusion; "Wolf", a blazing guitar track about an unusually tender topic (a pet cat lost); "Number One Blind", a deliciously mischievous power-pop classic; "Celebrate You", a great anti-patriarchal cry.
The rawness of this album makes it accessible. Though Veruca Salt's best song is on its sophomore album ("Loneliness Is Worse" from Eight Arms to Hold You), American Thighs is the stronger work overall, and an overlooked classic of the '90s.
Like so many other fertile partnerships, Gordon/Post eventually split with Gordon going solo and playing Lilith Fair this year, while Post carries on with Veruca. Best of luck to them and bless their hearts for what they've already accomplished: They brought an earnesty, emotional resonance and lyrical depth to the jaded, cynical alt-rock scene.