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Built to Spill's first full length is also their most uneven. Some bands' first albums are their best work, summing up everything they needed to say musically1; others are like a first draft of a really good essay, rough in spots but with spots of clear shining genius. Ultimate Alternative Wavers is one of the latter, thankfully. You can see almost everything on Perfect From Now On springing from the forehead of "Get a Life", or "Three Years Ago Today" and the first half of "Built to Spill" being the prototype for There's Nothing Wrong With Love. The album is quite spotty compared to the rest of BTS's work -- but like sex and pizza, a bad BTS album is still pretty good.

Produced by Todd Dunnigan & Built to Spill


  • Doug Martsch: Vocals (1-9), Guitar (all), Bass (9 & 10), Snare (10)
  • Brett Nelson (of Caustic Resin): Bass (1-9), Guitar (6-10), Slide Guitar (9), Acoustic Guitar (9), Backup Vocals (6), Stupid Vocals (7), T.V.2 (7), Drums (10)
  • Ralf Youtz (of Sone): Drums (all), Cowbell (7), Guitar (8-10), Bass (10)
  • Todd Dunnigan (?): Organ (1), Synthesizer (9), Guitar Samples (10), Piano (10)
  • James3: Piano (7)
  • Jake Carpenter: Violin (10)


  1. The First Song
  2. Three Years Ago Today
  3. Revolution
  4. Shameful Dread
  5. Nowhere Nothin' Fuckup
  6. Get a Life
  7. Built to Spill
  8. Lie for a Lie
  9. Hazy
  10. Built Too Long Parts 1, 2 & 3

1. See Cake's Motorcade of Generosity or Soul Coughing's Ruby Vroom and compare those albums to each band's later work for evidence. The later albums have some decent work on them, but it all pales in comparison to those first albums

2. I don't know either

3. Anyone know who this person is? /msg me.

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