Saturday, February 05, 2011

Blast from the Past: Bandwagonesque


Title: Bandwagonesque (Amazon, Last.fm, Wikipedia)
Artist: Teenage Fanclub (Official, MySpace, Facebook, Last.fm, AllMusic, Wikipedia)

I was a junior in high school when Teenage Fanclub released their classic album Bandwagonesque. I remember getting it shortly after seeing the video for the first single “Star Sign” and being blown away by its brilliance. Teenage Fanclub was part of the scene that gave us Sonic Youth, Husker Du, Dinosaur Jr., the Pixies, Buffalo Tom, Gumball, and Nirvana—in other words grunge, or at least grunge as the term was originally used (before it came to mean “anything from Seattle”). This record was probably most famous for beating out Nirvana’s Nevermind as Spin magazine’s best album of 1991.

Admittedly this is the only record by Teenage Fanclub that I have ever owned or heard and it is entirely possible that I love it as much as I do because of nostalgia but I doubt it. The vast majority of the reviews for this record at the time and over the years have been glowing. They have been glowing for a reason—this record is nearly perfect. There are slow songs, fast songs, and catchy-as-a-cold-in-February songs. But what truly makes this album so good is not only its simple pop mastery but its haunting moments (like “December” and the album’s closing track, the instrumental “Is This Music?”).

If you are a fan of indie rock, power pop, any of the aforementioned bands, or just great rock ‘n’ roll music, I highly suggest that you check Bandwagonesque out for yourself (if you haven’t already that is).

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