VH1’s I Love the ’90s was more than a little premature. As much fun as it was to watch second-rate comedians rag on the decades that I didn’t quite live through, it hit close to home when they started with quips on the Gin Blossoms. Truth be told, I hadn’t realized that it had been more than ten years since the radio took over my life, and somehow “Peaches” is still stuck in my head.
One of the most iconic cheesy-hit bands of the ’90s, the Presidents of the United States of America, is one of the few decade-old radio-friendly bands that’s still in its original form. As the Rage Against the Machines and Stone Temple Pilots fade away into assorted dinky side projects, the Presidents are still the same three guys rocking out on their guitars and (literally) two-string basses.
Love Everybody shows absolutely no maturation for the band whatsoever, which is exactly what people want to hear. To go from “millions of peaches/ peaches for me” to “please excuse me while I hump the sky” is probably the most natural progression one could expect from the Presidents, and they’re blissfully aware of that fact. Just like in the past, the only thing they really take seriously is their pattern of not taking themselves seriously.
The unfortunate fact is that although the band seems to be stuck in a cryogenic pop-grunge freeze, its fan base has aged. As such, songs like “Drool At You” and “Poke And Destroy” may not have quite the appeal they would in middle school. But in an era where rock radio is dominated by angst-filled jerk-offs like Saliva and Velvet Revolver, a hit about “Some Postman” reading other people’s love letters and feeling lonely is a much more well-intentioned sob story. The songs are formulaic and anything but fresh, but they still have that mid-’90s mainstream rock sensibility that seems to have disappeared since the Family Values Tour. If you really do love the ’90s, then the Presidents love you.