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Before there was Built To Spill, there was the Treepeople, a loud, melodic pop band that squeezed rock songs until they squealed. Originally formed in Boise, Idaho, the band relocated to Seattle in the late 1980s. Several years later, while the mainstream press was heralding Seattle as the birthplace of grunge, Pat Brown, Wayne Flower, Doug Martsch, and Scott Schmaljohn were wringing blistering indie rock from their instruments. Guilt, Regret, Embarrassment, their debut (and, according to Martsch, best) album, was originally released in 1990 (the year before punk broke) on Toxic Shock records.

Treepeople presented more than walls of guitar: they constructed mountains of sound, dappling them with inventive melody and relentless rhythms. "Pity," highlights Flower's precise, almost mechanical, drumming, Brown's thick, chunky bass lines, and Martsch and Schmaljohn's full-fledged guitar assault team. The song reveals the seeds of these talented musicians' future projects (Stuntman, Built to Spill, Violent Green, The Halo Benders). After losing members over the years to family obligations and competing projects, Treepeople disbanded completely in 1994.

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