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Truckload of Trouble

The Pastels

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Album Review

Collecting most of the singles the Pastels released on Fire, A Truckload of Trouble: 1986-1993 is a fine introduction to any newcomer and a vital piece of any fan's collection. These songs see the Pastels at their shambolic best, whining guitars blazing and ringing, alternating slurred and dreamy vocals punctuating the finest ever C-86 tunes, and blending pop and punk in the most aesthetically sublime way. Throughout the album's running time, one can't help but marvel about the sheer number of bands these songs inspired, and repeat listens make it obvious that the Pastels were a stepping stone between so many great bands and styles. In bottling up and mixing potent influences like the Fall, the Ramones, the Smiths, and the Velvet Underground, they opened the door for further experimentation by offspring such as Yo La Tengo, My Bloody Valentine, Magnetic Fields, Built to Spill, Beat Happening, and Belle & Sebastian. As steeped in the classics and as inspirational as these songs are, their most glaring attribute is just how catchy, raw, and invigorating they are. Though it covers periods of major lineup changes and rampant stylistic shifts, Truckload of Trouble is a cohesive listen from start to finish and a vital portrait of a band marching to the beat of different drum.

Biography

Formed: 1982 in Glasgow, Scotland

Genre: Alternative

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

Although virtually unknown outside of indie rock circles, the Pastels were one of the most inspirational and enduring groups of the genre, in their early days spearheading a movement toward a renewed sense of wistful musical primitivism and willful naivete known variously as "shambling" and "anorak pop." In addition, their influence helped bring international notice to a resurgent Scottish musical community, with frontman Stephen Pastel's legendary 53rd and 3rd label helping to launch the careers...
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