Just like most people in Scotland my age I’m sure, I was always been acutely aware of Teenage Fanclub growing up however, I will admit I’ve probably never given them enough attention over the years. I’ve dipped in and out of their music from time to time and thought they were OK but one thing or another has always pulled me away meaning it would be years before I’d revisit them again.
Today marks the release of their 11th studio album, Endless Arcade, and while I may be a new fan of the band, I do think that fact maybe provides me with a unique insight to this new release as I have no real historical gauge on which to base my opinion on as to me, it’s all new to an extent, and I can judge the release on it’s own merits as a result.
The album opens with Home – a chilled out little number that clocks in at just over 7mins however, just as before you reach the 3min point, the song switches to a lovely little instrumental piece with some excellent guitar work. My only issue is that it’s poorly positioned as the album opener. It could maybe have been one to close Endless Arcade on instead.
Next we jump into the album’s title track, Endless Arcade, and we begin to weave from track to track. The next couple of songs are almost indistinguishable from each other with each being a straight forward 4/4 chord structure with a, basic drum beat and nothing fancy or particularly original on show.
Things to pick up a little with The Sun Won’t Shine On Me and again later with In Our Dreams. While the guitar work in The Sun Won’t Shine On Me is somewhat reminiscent of Queen at times, In Our Dreams is the lifeblood of the album and gives us something a little meatier to sink our teeth into and it sets us up for I’m More Inclined perfectly which is another great addition to the album.
The rest of the album is much of the same as what’s come before and by the time you’ve hit the halfway mark, you’re in the mood for something a little different and there isn’t enough variety on show for me here to keep me engaged from start to finish. I’m sure there’s plenty here that will please hardcore fans of the band but I don’t think there’s much here for anyone dropping in on them for the first time. I don’t think Endless Arcade is a particularly bad album, it’s just an uninteresting one in my opinion.
by Edward Laing