If you're hunting down the formula for radio-friendly, mid-'90s grunge-pop, it's time to revisit The Verve Pipe. The Michigan rockers didn't invent the formula, they didn't hone it and, as far as I can tell, they certainly didn't try to improve on it. But they sure as hell followed it to the millimeter and profited. Soul patches, bleached hair, stark black and white music videos, super-size brooding: all there. (From 2011, things sure seem easier back in that post-"My So-Called Life"/pre-"Dawson's Creek" rock world.) The band worked that angle so skillfully that, well, years later it's a viable option for a Wednesday night. And seeing how modern rock hasn't really progressed much in the last 15 years, I guess you might say that The Verve Pipe still sounds fresh. One thing's for sure, though: "The Freshmen" is still untouchable.