Coming as it did after the reflective folk-rock of 1988's FAILURE and the lush neo-psychedelic pop of 1990's classic DEAR 23, the more aggressive FROSTING ON THE BEATER was a surprise to many Posies fans. In fact, some thought that its layers of guitar noise, courtesy of producer and Sonic Youth associate Don Fleming, were a post-Nirvana commercial capitulation. However, more thoughtful listening proves such cynicism wrong, as FROSTING ON THE BEATER is as sonically rich and lyrically mature as its predecessors. This time out, though, the ever-present melancholy of singer/songwriters Ken Stringfellow and Jon Auer is echoed in the noisier arrangements. At heart, songs as strong as the soaring "Dream All Day" and the Matthew Sweet-like "Solar Sister" aren't far removed at all from previous Posies classics like "Suddenly Mary" or "Golden Blunders". FROSTING ON THE BEATER is excellent '90s power pop in the Redd Kross/Cheap Trick tradition.