The brainchild of guitarist Brad Laner, Los Angeles trio Medicine play a melodic, rhythmic style of noise rock that has been tagged "dream pop." Laner began performing in his early teens in such local bands as Vox Pop and Nervous Gender after developing a taste for such avant-garde rock performers as Captain Beefheart, Throbbing Gristle, Yoko Ono, and the Residents. Over the years, Laner played on more than 300 albums, the most famous of which belonged to industrial rock outfit Savage Republic, for whom he served as the drummer. Medicine was formed in 1991 with drummer Jim Goodall; its early lineup included guitarist Jim Putnam, bassist Eddie Ruscha, and singer Annette Zalinskas, an original member of the Bangles. Putnam, Ruscha, and Zalinskas eventually left; the latter was replaced by former Fourwaycross singer Beth Thompson.
The band's debut, Shot Forth Self Living, was released in the U.K. several months after the band formed; it was picked up in America by Rick Rubin's American label, which signed Medicine in 1992. An EP, 5ive, was released in 1993, and followed a year later by the band's second full-length album, The Buried Life, featuring more collaborations within the group. Laner, Goodall, and Thompson made one more record together, the slickly poppy Her Highness, before splitting in 1995 and moving on to different projects, most notably Laner's experimental solo project Electric Company.
In 2003, Laner recruited vocalist Shannon Lee (Bruce Lee's daughter) and formed a new version of Medicine. Pursuing a more electronic sound, the duo made one album for Astralwerks, The Mechanical Forces of Love, before splitting. The band's reputation grew as the shoegaze style became more and more popular in the 2000s, with many bands adopting aspects of Medicine's sound. Influential U.S. label Captured Tracks capitalized on the band's rep and released deluxe reissues of Shot Forth Self Living and The Buried Life in early 2012. Inspired by the release of their best work, the trio of Laner, Thompson, and Goodall buried any lingering bad feelings and set about recording a new album. The shockingly good To the Happy Few was released by Captured Tracks in the summer of 2013. ~ Steve Huey, Rovi