Teenage Fanclub
Bandwagonesque


4.5
superb

Review

by RVAHC13 USER (5 Reviews)
June 22nd, 2014 | 31 replies


Release Date: 1991 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Outshined

1991 was a major milestone for the alternative rock scene of the 90's. With albums like Nirvana's Nevermind, Pearl Jam's Ten, and of course My Bloody Valentine's Loveless all being released in the same year, it's easy to understand why albums like Bandwagonesque are often overlooked. Teenage Fanclub's debut, A Catholic Education garnered some attention towards the band but not enough to compete with their contemporaries. Unlike Bandwagonesque, their debut had a harsher sound and tackled controversial topics such as the Religion of Catholicism which greatly differed with the style on their later releases. However as the band recorded for their new album, they toned down their abrasive hard rock sound into a more poppy and gentle style of alternative rock while still focusing on the melodic hooks that attracted listeners to their previous work. The end result is both energetic and toe-tappingly melodious, and while some may not acknowledge its existence, Bandwagonesque is unquestionably one of the most relevant rock albums of the 90's.

Teenage Fanclub's style has been cataloged as general alternative, indie rock, and grunge, although the band has also been credited as one of the more important groups to partake in the "power pop" revival alongside Weezer, The Spin Doctors, and many others. As such, the band successfully fuses hard rock and pop so that fans of either genre can appreciate easy-going yet powerful ballads such as the album's opening track. "The Concept" sets the mood for the whole album with its easy melodic flow driven by Norman Blake's soft voice. The same song structure occupies much of Bandwagonesque without stepping too far out of the boundaries of the album's overall tone. Occasionally, the album's tone does shift into fast paced hard rock such as the instrumental track "Satan" but will immediately fall back into the overall low-key style that characterizes the album.

Bandwagonesque typically consists of two styles of music, one being soft love ballads like "December" which make up most of the album. The other half is made of more jumpy, energetic songs like "Star Sign" which help keep the album from becoming too melancholy or stale. The band's influences also start to become more prevalent with songs like "Metal Baby" and "Pet Rock" which clearly show similarities towards older power pop founders like Cheap Trick and Big Star to a palpable extent. Most of the album's lyrical content, much like the music, follows a linear pattern with lyrics usually dealing with women, love, sadness, and religion. While the lyrics may sometimes appear glum, the music and vocal pitch usually relays more upbeat feelings underlying in each song.

Much of the guitar work consists of a concise group of chords and tempos. Occasional added effects such as orchestral and brass work are present on songs like "Guiding Star" to help give a more sensitive feeling to the song. Vocals are usually shared by Norman Blake, Gerald Love, and Raymond McGinley, although occasionally solo duties are left to Blake. Instrumental work is also present on two separate tracks, one being the album's closing song "Is This Music?" which displays beautiful guitar and drum work and leaves the listener on a more positive note at the conclusion of the album.

It's true that this album isn't the most renowned among other bands of the time period, but that does not necessarily mean the album isn't worth an honorable mention. On the contrary, the album has been revered by some critics as one of the greatest rock albums of the 90's and rightfully so. Many other bands have sighted Teenage Fanclub and more specifically Bandwagonesque as a major influence on their work. Bands like Jimmy Eat World and The Pastels have recorded covers of songs from the album which have gained Teenage Fanclub a slightly larger fan base (or fan club if you prefer.) Needless to say many Scottish rock bands have released albums that made significant impacts on the 90's music scene and whether or some even realize it, Bandwagonesque could be considered one of the top tier among those albums.


Recommended Tracks:
-The Concept
-What You Do To Me
-I Don't Know
-Star Sign
-Alcoholiday


user ratings (130)
3.9
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
Tunaboy45
June 22nd 2014


18429 Comments


This review. I like this review. Pos.

RVAHC13
June 22nd 2014


837 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thank you! :D

HolidayKirk
June 22nd 2014


1722 Comments


Big shout out to you for reviewing this. Fairly surprised it didn't have a review.

RVAHC13
June 22nd 2014


837 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah I'm surprised this album isn't talked about more on here

ZackSh33
June 23rd 2014


730 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Pos for the big star fanclub

Dunwich
June 23rd 2014


582 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Fuck yeah, I love The Fannies

PappyMason
November 10th 2014


5702 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Wow, I can't believe it's taken me this long to listen to this album. It's great!



Sweet review too.

zakalwe
April 8th 2015


38934 Comments


You know them albums that you think were great and were cherished for a time only to be more or less forgotten about before spinning them years later and everything floods in instantaneously and you remember how fucking amazing they were.

This is one of them.

PappyMason
April 9th 2015


5702 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Metal baby, my metal baby

Made me take her to the heavy metal show




zakalwe
April 9th 2015


38934 Comments


How did I forget how classic this is??

PappyMason
April 9th 2015


5702 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

So good!!

PappyMason
July 1st 2015


5702 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Alchoholiday is such a jam.

PappyMason
July 1st 2015


5702 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh yeah...Oh yeah...



Words cannot do justice to how good The Concept is. Stunning opener.

LotusFlower
February 1st 2016


12000 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album sounds like the background music of a highschool dance in a teen drama movie.



Not saying thats a bad thing by any means.

PappyMason
February 1st 2016


5702 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album is all kinds of lovely.



I sill haven't got round to listening to my copies of Grand Prix and Songs from Northern Britain. What's wrong with me..

zakalwe
February 1st 2016


38934 Comments


Your Love is the Place Where I Come From is one of me fave tunes.

zakalwe
August 21st 2016


38934 Comments


Album is the best

danielcardoso
August 21st 2016


11770 Comments


rules, nice bump zak amigo.

zakalwe
August 21st 2016


38934 Comments


I thought you would dig this one dan dude. 90s as fuck :D

danielcardoso
August 21st 2016


11770 Comments


ahah yeah my kind of jam, that reminds me i should revisit to rate it properly. how would you rate?



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