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August 2018
Review

Teenage Fanclub - Here

Warms your heart in a way that only Teenage Fanclub can do.
Teenage Fanclub - Here
Published: 12:25 pm, September 08, 2016
Warms your heart in a way that only Teenage Fanclub can do.

Label: PeMa
Released: September 9th 2016
Rating: ★★★

Teenage Fanclub have been around a very long time. 27 years in fact. During those 27 years they’ve established the well earned reputation of being one of Britain’s best and most consistent bands, effortlessly traversing grunge, Britpop and beyond while managing to remain unbowed and unchanged. If you can rely on anything in life you can rely on Teenage Fanclub writing perfect pop songs. Those songs have become more infrequent though in recent years which makes ‘Here’ their first album in six years welcome.

The formula once again is beautifully simple. 4 songs each from the bands 3 songwriters - Gerard Love, Norman Blake and Raymond McGinley. It all adds up to a record that does everything you would hope a Teenage Fanclub record would do but is imbued with a lightness of touch and vibrancy that keeps it fresh. You can hear it in the gently propulsive fuzzy rush of single ‘I’m In Love’ and the bright chorus and glorious harmonies of ‘The Darkest Part Of The Night’.

It would be very easy for the band to just stay in their comfort zone of jangly indie pop but the best moments on ‘Here’ are where they stretch out into slightly more experimental pastures, for example the dreamy lilt of ‘With You’ or the pastoral folk of ‘Connected To Life’. Providing a nice counterpoint to these understated moments is a song like ‘The First Sight’ featuring a guitar crunch that warms your heart in a way that only Teenage Fanclub can do.

When a much loved band reach a certain age, it’s to be expected that some of the vitality and work ethic of youth is to be lost but the rarity of their releases now makes an accomplished return like this all the more special. Martyn Young

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