DASHING DEBUTS: Gene – Olympian

Go on, listen to ‘Haunted By You’. Does it remind you of any band in particular? If you said The Smiths, you’re not alone. Actually, we can go into specifics and pinpoint the song it sounds like… ‘This Charming Man’? Indeed it has its similarities! From the structure in the song to the melancholy lyrics and vocals led by Martin Rossiter. The band was long compared to The Smiths, mostly due to their saddening lyrics and emotional atmospheric tone. Their album cover for their 1995 debut, Olympian actually describes the band quite well. A man — dead inside, looking as if he’s about to cry. Let’s just hope that Rossiter is just kidding around, like Morrissey. But just like Morrissey, there is no telling the difference, and that is fantastic for listeners like me who really enjoy a good song about unrequited love. Gene’s Olympian has quite a few of them, along with the rest of their discography. They disbanded in 2004 with the ironically named single, ‘Let Me Move On’ after the band had considerable success for ten years.

‘Haunted By You’ is the very pleasing opener, while ‘Truth, Rest Your Head’ is a total epic, implementing a mix of fantastic guitars and keyboard, actually sounding at times like a sad Springsteen. ‘A Car That Sped’ is my favorite off of Olympian, with a killer verse and build-up chorus. The lyrics are brilliant, as Rossiter’s delivery on love and loss is nothing short of exceptional. ‘London, Can You Wait?’ is another nice tune, where the band takes a bit of a break over some relaxing guitar riffs and a smooth bass, eventually building up into a complex and layered chorus. Gene’s Olympian is one of the best albums of the Brit-Pop generation and it should not be missed.


Gene – Haunted By You



Gene – A Car That Sped



Gene – Truth, Rest Your Head



Gene – London, Can You Wait?




Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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