Even the most casual rock fan has heard –- or at least heard of -- most of the big, influential rock albums of our time. You probably own a copy of 'Nevermind,' 'Dark Side Of The Moon' and 'Abbey Road,' right? However, countless albums are released every year, which are worthy of similar glory. For whatever reason – bad timing, lack of financial backing, radio indifference – the majority of these records will go mostly unheard, reaching only niche audiences.

That said, it’s not too late to discover some relatively unheralded gems, and these five from the ’90s and beyond are a great start.

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    Catherine Wheel -- 'Adam And Eve'

    By 1997, British alternative/shoegaze rockers Catherine Wheel had already released 3 well-received albums, and toured with Smashing Pumpkins, INXS and Stone Temple Pilots – sometimes headlining over those bands.  With producer Bob Ezrin (Pink Floyd, KISS) on board, and even a cover designed by Storm Thorgerson (Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath), Catherine Wheel seemed poised for the big time with the lushly brilliant 'Adam and Eve.'

    Instead, it sold modestly.  Bassist Dave Hawes subsequently left the band before their lackluster follow-up
    'Wishville,' which proved to be the group’s swan song.

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    The Thrills -- 'So Much For The City'

    In 2003, this Irish band released its breezy, California-inspired debut album.  With catchy singles like 'One Horse Town' and 'Big Sur,' the Conor Deasy-fronted indie-pop outfit shot to the top of the Irish charts (and No. 3 in the U.K.), but went relatively unnoticed stateside.

    The less-thrilling 'Let’s Bottle Bohemia' followed in 2007, barely cracking the U.S. Billboard Top 200, before 2007’s 'Teenager,' and then an extended hiatus.

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    My Morning Jacket -- 'It Still Moves'

    My Morning Jacket is far from underrated these days, but before the band’s late-2000s breakthrough, it released three under-the-radar records, including 2003’s 'It Still Moves.'  With anthems like 'Dancefloors,' 'Golden' and 'One Big Holiday,' 'It Still Moves' offered in-the-know listeners a glimpse of a group which would soon achieve widespread success.

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    Minus The Bear -- 'Omni'

    While the Seattle group’s earlier output showcased the band’s intricate, progressive musical stylings, 2010’s 'Omni'' melded those high-minded tendencies with a more tuneful, mainstream sound.

    Singles 'My Time' and 'Summer Angel' got some mileage on college and alternative radio, but 'Omni' climbed only to the 49th rung of the Billboard 200, a respectable showing that still fell short of commercial potential.

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    Dr. Dog -- 'Fate'

    Emerging from the burgeoning Philadelphia underground scene, Dr. Dog released their fifth album in 2008, displaying their unique, psychedelic pop blend of Beach Boys, Beatles and The Band-influenced indie rock to great effect.

    While 'Fate' is arguably Dr. Dog’s best overall album, the 2001 release 'Shame, Shame' and 2012's 'Be The Void' fared better, sales-wise. 'Fate' is one of those albums that you’d probably love if you heard it.  The problem is, judging by the numbers, you probably haven’t.

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