were one of the most popular power pop bands of the '90s; along with other revivalists like
, they helped update the classic power pop sound for the alternative age, marrying bright, British Invasion-style melodies and harmonies to loud, grungy guitars and quirky lyrics.
's Bellingham, WA, home in 1988. That year, the duo self-released a cassette called
, it was soon picked up by the Seattle indie Pop Llama, and wound up getting the band a deal with Geffen. Getting a proper rhythm section in bassist
, which showcased their budding sense of popcraft with bigger-budget production.
When the Posies
returned with a new album in 1993, their hometown Seattle scene had blown wide open. While the band didn't fit into any sort of grunge blueprint, they did toughen up their sound under producer Don Fleming
, resulting in their harder-rocking breakthrough album, Frosting on the Beater
(the title a masturbation reference). Paced by the college-radio hit "Dream All Day," the album earned an audience among both power pop and alternative rock fans (as well as introducing new bassist Dave Fox
). The same year, Auer
backed a reunion of power pop heroes Big Star
(namely Alex Chilton
and Jody Stephens
), a gig they would return to off and on for much of the '90s.
It took a bit of time for Auer
to follow up the success of Frosting on the Beater
. When they returned, they had another new rhythm section in tow, drummer Brian Young
(also of Fountains of Wayne
) and bassist Joe Howard
(who usually recorded under the pseudonyms Joe Bass
or Joe Skyward
). 1996's Amazing Disgrace
consolidated the Posies
' position as critics' darlings, rocking out even more than its predecessor. Yet Geffen failed to promote the record adequately, and the group had lost some of its alternative audience from three years before; as a result, Amazing Disgrace
sold disappointingly, and the Posies
were dropped from Geffen. Stringfellow
put out a home-recorded solo album, This Sounds Like Goodbye
, in 1997, but despite the title, the Posies
reconvened on their original label, Pop Llama, for their official swan song, 1998's Success
(a nod to their debut's title).Stringfellow
subsequently toured with R.E.M.
as a backing musician, along with Young Fresh Fellow Scott McCaughey
, with whom he worked in the Minus 5
; among other side projects, he also formed a new band, Saltine
, that released only one EP. Auer
, meanwhile, went solo and formed a backing band, and also produced records for Pop Llama. 2000 saw the release of a Geffen best-of, Dream All Day
, as well as At Least, At Last
, a four-disc box set of outtakes, demos, and the like on power pop label Not Lame; plus, Auer
reunited for a summer acoustic tour under the Posies
banner, which produced the live EP In Case You Didn't Feel Like Plugging In
. In 2001, the duo reunited once again for an acoustic studio EP, Nice Cheekbones and a Ph.D.
, and toured with a rhythm section of Howard
and drummer Darius Minwalla. The same year, Stringfellow
issued his second solo album, Touched
, which featured material originally intended for Saltine
. The Posies
re-united in full in 2005 and released the excellent Every Kind of Light on the Rykodisc label. In 2010, The Posies
returned with Blood/Candy which they recorded in Spain.