Tuesday, November 19, 2013

414 of 1001 Albums: Teenage Fanclub's Bandwagonese

There is something very rock about Teenage Fanclub, but it's honestly very difficult for me to get past their name. I thought I was going to be listening to something a lot more poppy. Instead there are a lot of catchy guitar parts and you have a lead singer who does match his vocals well to the tone of the album. In a way the album is very teenager, and with talent.

History: This Scottish band would become popular because Spin would have them voted as the best album of 1991, beating out Nirvana's album, Nevermind. Considering the popularity of that album it's a huge feat for this band. "Star Sign" would become the band's biggest hit in the U.S. Just to warn though that the bag with a dollar sign on it is actually trademarked by Gene Simmons, so the band had to pay him a fee for using the image on their cover. Ridiculous right? The influence this band had is still prominent with bands who hear nowadays though like Jimmy Eat World.

Vocals: Norman Blake and Gerard Love do vocals for the album. I think their voicing is very well matched to the pacing of the album and the tone. It's a bit of punkish type tone to the album, and it also matches the alternative vibe of the album. The album also never seems to take itself very seriously, and the vocalist have a youthful, fun tone to their vocals that match that tone.

Instrumentals: There is even a guy credited with doing handclaps on this album. I guess when thinking about it though that takes talent, because you have to know how to time to the rhythm and pacing of the music so it sounds good. Joseph McAlinden was on guitar as well as the vocalist, Blake. The guitars are some of the better parts of the whole album. They have nice parts where they soar with the music and take it a step above other styles of alternative music you might hear like this. Brendan O'Hare is on drums and I thought that blended for the most part with the rest of the tunes.

Recording: The year this was recorded in 1991, and considering what was popular in 1991, this doesn't put me in mind of the grunge scene or the 80's rock still disappearing at that time. It's different causing the whole album to sound like it isn't from 1991. It's a well crafted album, but there are times that I zoned out during songs if they didn't catch me enough.

Teenage Fanclub is a band I think could still be popular these days and fit in with what is out there. There sound has this lighter vibe, maybe even bordering on satire some of the times. I think in a lot of ways the band seemed to be mocking the scene of the early 90's. The alternative sound was also good and being made in a time where things still sounded like rock.

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