An alternative pop band from Sacramento, CA, Oleander enjoyed a brief flash of popularity in 1999, when the singles "Why I'm Here" and "I Walk Alone" found a home on mainstream rock radio. The band was originally formed in 1995 by singer/guitarist Thomas Flowers, guitarist Ric Ivanisevich, bassist Doug Eldridge, and drummer Fred Nelson, Jr. Named for the poisonous wildflowers growing throughout the Northern California region, Oleander made their studio debut in 1996 with a self-titled EP; a full-length album, Shrinking the Blob, followed in mid-1997. The latter record launched a local hit with "Down When I'm Loaded," and Oleander parlayed that success into a major-label deal with Universal.
February Son arrived in 1999, sporting the two aforementioned singles as well as a new drummer, Scott Devours. February Son reached gold status by mid-2000, and the band's experimental follow-up effort, Unwind, spawned a Top 40 hit ("Champion") in 2001. Unwind failed to gain much traction beyond its one single, however, and Oleander were soon sent packing from the Universal label. Signing with Sanctuary Records instead, they issued Joyride in 2003 and received a strong review from Rolling Stone magazine. The album didn't return Oleander to national popularity, however, and the musicians soon began pursuing different projects, effectively breaking up the band in 2004. ~ Andrew Leahey
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