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Album Review

The gold standard of the early-'90s power pop revival, in its own way Bandwagoneque was as much a benchmark as contemporary records like Nevermind and Loveless; though not the generational rallying cry of the former nor the revolutionary sonic breakthrough of the latter, Teenage Fanclub's sophomore album nevertheless heralded the return of melody and craft, coupled with energy and spirit — hallmarks of much of the greatest rock & roll of the past, and virtues as rare as hen's teeth in the years immediately prior to the disc's release. Although its incandescent harmonies, lazily immediate songs, and crunching guitars earned it endless comparisons to vintage Big Star, Bandwagonesque is in every way a product of its own time — the thick, grungy sound of the Fannies' debut A Catholic Education remains intact for gems like "What You Do to Me" (arguably the most brilliantly simpleminded love song ever penned) and the instrumental "Satan," while the lyrics of other standout moments like "Star Sign" and "Alcoholiday" reflect a laissez faire irony and unassuming genius even more emblematic of the moment in question.


Formed: 1989 in Glasgow, Scotland

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

After first gaining acclaim for a dense, melodic sound that anticipated the coming emergence of grunge, Scotland's Teenage Fanclub spent the remainder of their career as torch-bearers for the power pop revival, unparalleled among their generation for both their unwavering adherence to and brilliant reinvention of the classic guitar pop of vintage acts like Big Star and Badfinger. Blessed with the talents of three formidable singers and songwriters (Norman Blake, Gerard Love, and Raymond McGinley,...
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