Teenage Fanclub: Bandwagonesque

This style, this kind of sissy, laid back, slacker power pop, is not really my thing. But this album, it’s practically perfect. So many wonderful things about it. First of all, that beautiful shade of pink up above. Marvelous. Then there’s the sound of the guitars. The way they just bleed like an open sore, oozing blood, come, sweat…every note comes with so much additional oomph due to the effects. The notes aren’t all that all the time, but with that sound…it just cuts right through. Then there’s the sequencing. They start with their epic six-minute-plus song (also the best on the album), then go into a 1:22 ditty (“Satan”) that’s about two-thirds free jazz noise before blasting into an epic rock riff. The rest of the first half is their emblematic stuff, the stuff you think of when you think of Teenage Fanclub, where it’s just sweet power pop riffs about love, disaffection, boredom…typical Gen-Xer stuff. Things get a bit weaker for the second half, but the album ends with a nice come-down in “Guiding Star” before wrapping everything up with “Is This Music?,” which is like a movie or TV theme kinda instrumental thing…a really sweet riff that, like “Satan,” could have been a foundation for an awesomely fleshed-out song, but instead just stays as an awesome, unfleshed-out track.

My experience with Bandwagonesque is that it always takes me a while to warm to it, due to the initial off-putting-ness of the sissiness of the slacker vocal delivery and the guitar jangle. I always start off thinking it’s just The Posies, but then I realize that this is what The Posies wish they could be. Really, this is the gold standard every sissy power pop band should be striving for. And by the time they’ve hooked me, it’s always hard to stop listening and move on to the next thing.

Rating:
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– “The Concept,” “Satan,” “December,” “What You Do To Me,” “I Don’t Know,” “Star Sign,” “Pet Rock,” “Is This Music?”
– “Metal Baby,” “Sidewinder,” “Alcoholiday,” “Guiding Star”
Filed Between: Tchaikovsky (The Best Of) and Television (Marquee Moon)
Song Notes: After the jump

  1. The Concept – Probs the best song here.
  2. Satan – Just 1:22. Noisy then rocky. And the rocky is awesome.
  3. December – “She don’t even care/But I would die for her love”
  4. What You Do To Me –
  5. I Don’t Know –
  6. Star Sign –
  7. Metal Baby – lyrics are too cutesie, but the track is awesome.
  8. Pet Rock – pretty good. The horns half are awesome. Could almost be like an E Street Band revival thing, except this doesn’t feel as fake as those do
  9. Sidewinder – gets better towards end, but the worst track on the album.
  10. Alcoholiday –
  11. Guiding Star –
  12. Is This Music? –
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One thought on “Teenage Fanclub: Bandwagonesque

  1. Pingback: The Fat Clown Mixes Of 2013 | fatclown

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