Posts Tagged ‘teenage fanclub’

Re-Evaluated // Songs From Northern Britain

March 6th, 2014 | Features | 0 Comments


Sometimes albums come out and for some reason or other they’re just not given the appreciation they deserve. Or sometimes great albums come out, are enjoyed, but then unfairly forgotten, while others become beloved classics. In this new feature, Reevaluated, I’ll take a second look at great albums that deserve to be remembered and cherished but for some reason just aren’t. This week’s pick is Glasgow-based Teenage Fanclub‘s 1997 album Songs From Northern Britain.

Though Songs From Northern Britain was hardly an ignored release – becoming their highest charting album in the UK; named by Nick Hornby as one of his favourite albums; receiving glowing reviews – when people hear about Teenage Fanclub these days, the album that gets all the attention is 1991’s Bandwagonesque, and mainly because it edged out R.E.M.‘s  Out Of Time, Nirvana‘s Nevermind, and My Bloody Valentine‘s Loveless for Spin’s Album Of The Year title, in a choice that today seems ludicrous. While Bandwagonesque is still a great album, today it sounds somewhat tame and dated.

Songs From Northern Britain, on the other hand, sounds like a power-pop lovers wet dream, with track after track of big hooks and gorgeous harmonies. Musically and lyrically it’s better than Bandwagonesque while also featuring better (less-dated-sounding) production, and overall it’s more consistent. Tracks like “Ain’t That Enough” and “Take The Long Way Round” in particular simply glisten with pure harmonic pop glory.

Admittedly the album does sound a little dated – but only a little – and all of Teenage Fanclub‘s singers always had kinda blandish voices. But sometimes great songwriting overcomes all obstacles, meanwhile all the gifts in the world often can’t make up for poor songwriting. Songs From Northern Britain is a stellar case of the former, and should be the album we talk about when we talk about Teenage Fanclub. And we should talk about Teenage Fanclub more to begin with, cuz they were and continue to be a great band.

Teenage Fanclub

September 26th, 2010 | Features | 0 Comments

This week’s band of the week has been around since the 90’s, but they’re still great, and they’ve still got some dedicated fans who love them, and that’s all you need to know. But not really. The rest is down below and the band of the week is…


So, this Scottish, 90’s power-pop band will likely go down in the history books for one shitty reason, which is that their 1991 album Bandwagonesque beat out Nirvana‘s Nevermind, My Bloody Valentine‘s Loveless, and REM‘s Out Of Time for Spin‘s 1991 album of the year. Talk about pulling a Kwarka (oh, snap!). Yeah, all of those other bands have since gone on to cement their legendary status, while last week Teenage Fanclub played…The Horseshoe.

Alright, I’m being a little harsh. Greatness is clearly not defined by popularity or popular opinion otherwise Lady Gaga would be about ten billion times greater than Big Star, and hopefully, if you’re reading this, you know that’s not the case. And to TF’s credit, a lot of people were psyched about that Horseshoe show, as my twitter wall proved.

Fact is, Bandwagonesque is a very solid album, though it’s no Loveless (not by a long shot). And it’s not like Teenage Fanclub just made that and one or two other albums then disappeared, lost their frontman due to his committing suicide, or sucked for ten years like some bands. Their 1993 follow-up, Thirteen, is probably just as good if not a little better than Bandwagonesque, and 1997’s Songs From Northern Britain is also very legit. Sometimes they’re a legit too cozy and cushiony for me to really get into hardcore, but it’s never hard to enjoy their songwriting.

Also cool, Teenage Fanclub‘s post-millenial stuff has the added benefit of not sounding like it was made in the 90’s, which is probably also why recent albums by Dinosaur Jr. and Robert Pollard are in many ways their best work; 90’s production was just really, really lame. TF’s latest album, Shadows, in particular, really does sound like a band continuing to move forward rather than just juicing the past for all it’s worth. So yeah, that’s really good. Check it out.

The Honeydrips

January 16th, 2008 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments

Do you like your pop sugary and sweet? Well then you know that all the sugary stuff comes from Sweden now right? Peter, Bjorn and John, The Tough Alliance, Jens Leckman: all Swedes with a sweet tooth who released great albums last year. This week’s band of the week belongs in the same crowd. The band of the week is…


With charming mid-fi production that dabbles in beats, spectre-esque reverb and jangly guitars, this mainly one-swede musical project is an absolute wet shroom dream for anyone who likes sunshine, lollipops and Teenage Fanclub albums.

All I’ve heard are the songs on the myspace (I tried to buy the album, at Soundscapes no less) and I already love this artist. The Honeydrips are romantic, cute as the Twee-est bands but their various influences no doubt range from The Byrds to New Order.

This is music to dance around in your room to with a big smile on your face. If it played in a club (and “Try Something New” easily could) everybody there would start hugging. It’s just so lovable and yet so well made and refined.

Check it out, especially the little Smiths nod “I Wouldn’t Know What to Do”.