Space Needle only recorded two albums and two singles during their brief lifetime, but in their own way the eventual trio found its particular niche over time -- various attempts to ally them with '90s psych/drone aside, there's something about them that feels more like forefathers to the next decade's big rock sound, along with groups like, say, the Flaming Lips (that the band was self-produced rather than needing Dave Fridmann was even more striking). Recordings 1994-1997, a simultaneous overview and catchall of various unheard tracks and earlier and alternate takes of more familiar ones, provides a handy one-disc summation of what the group was about, even if the liner notes are perhaps a little too starry-eyed at points. But the music is what matters, and from the rolling punch of "Eyes of the World" on -- little surprise that the band started with drummer Judson Ehrbar, whose obsession with trying out many different rhythm styles is clear throughout -- Recordings makes a pretty good case for a group that missed out on the brass ring. A couple of songs here and there sound a little too much of their time -- not commercial grunge (thank heavens) but maybe a bit too much like a slacker non-anthem -- but generally the core saving grace of Space Needle -- a sense of widescreen ambition and dreaminess built out of sometimes rough sonics -- shines through. A good example is the conclusion of "Before I Lose My Style," with its rising blend of keyboards and a truly droned-out guitar, and the drifting but still focused harmonies on "Never Lonely Alone." Meantime, the massive tremolo-and-fuzz overdrive of "Scientific Mapp" (and, in a less focused way, the random feedback scrabble of "Where the Fuck's My Wallet?") keep things loud as heck.