Tom Sinclair
June 21, 2002 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Artist Teenage Fanclub Album Bandwagonesque Ample Evidence of Greatness Arriving in 1991 — the year that grunge broke — Bandwagonesque seemed like a gift from another dimension, a place where sweet pop and hard rock coexisted peacefully and T. Rex, Byrds, and Big Star albums were the most sacred of totems. Eschewing trendy angst, the Scottish quartet filled their third longplayer with enough wry humor and ragged tunefulness to counter the smell of teen spirit with the sweet aroma of extended postadolescent rock epiphanies. Awe-Inspiring Track The plangent ”Alcoholiday,” which is so melancholically lyrical you forgive its dumbo title. Lingering Effects Sadly, the bulging money sack on Bandwagonesque‘s cover proved somewhat less than prophetic, as the Fannies never broke through commercially despite tons of glowing press. Still, they’ve gamely soldiered on, staying true to their vision. Their last two albums, the excellent Howdy! (2000) and this year’s Words of Wisdom and Hope, a collaborative disc with indie oddball Jad Fair of Half Japanese fame. Too bad that the fates misinterpreted our prayers that teen-pop be the next big thing.

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