Posted June 20, 2006 by Mike Mineo in Features


Last day of school! … for me anyways. New Jersey is so incredibly late to the game, but this state is usually like that with everything. Here are some songs that are kicking off my summer.


Teenage Fanclub – The Concept


“She wears denim wherever she goes, says she’s gonna get some records by the Status Quo”. Oh man, could a song be any more perfect? Teenage Fanclub has long been called the second coming of Big Star, and with songs like these, there is an easy reason to see why. Just check out the chorus, it’s unbeatable. The guitar solo towards the end eclipses the song, as Norman Blake’s fitting and raspy vocals take control yet again. One of my favorite songs of all time, it can be found on the fantastic album, Bandwagonesque.


Frog Eyes – Future Fortness


Straight off of their new EP, Future Is Inter-Disciplinary or Not al All, this song takes on a new direction from Frog Eyes that is even odder than their usual stuff, and that’s saying a lot. This isn’t going to win over any new fans, but old fans will be pleased at new Frog Eyes songs that really grow on you. This one rides over droning vocals, a faint acoustic guitar, and intentionally sloppy percussion. Their new album later this year will luckily have a more direct approach, much like their previous full lengths.

Mansun – Wide Open Space


Mansun’s first album, Attack of the Grey Lantern was really quite special at the time. Combining accessible British pop songs with epic dark tones of madness were demonstrated quite well by the Chester-based fivesome. ‘Wide Open Space’ is my favorite off of the album, and probably the most eerie in atmospheric terms. Just check out the backing vocal effects used directly before 3:00, and the little twinkles of keys used in each chorus. Though they disbanded in 2003, they left several gems.

Ocean Colour Scene – The Circle


Being discovered by The Jam’s Paul Weller and beeing acclaimed by Oasis surely has its benefits, but it also puts heaps of expectation on you. In my opinion, Ocean Colour Scene has been making great music ever since their breakthrough in 1996 with Moseley Shoals. ‘The Circle’ is a great song off of that album, with bluesy vocals led by Simon Fowler. The guitar solo at the end also kicks some serious ass and complements the song very nicely. They just recently released an album last year, and if you’re looking for a great summer album, check out Moseley Shoals.

Wilco – Comment (If All Men Are Truly Brothers)


At the very end of Wilco’s live album, Kicking Television: Live in Chicago, Jeff Tweedy and co. decided to close the set with a cover of Charles Wright’s ‘Comment’. It was a refreshing end to a night of genuine Wilco material, as the brilliant lyrics and great use of keys are very enjoyable. Tweedy plays the cover very well, as it results as my favorite song from the set.

Beulah – If We Can Land A Man On The Moon, Surely I Can Win Your Heart


What’s with the long Morrissey-like title? The recently disbanded Beulah closed their great sophomore album, When Your Heartstrings Break with the longly named but abruptly emotional ballad of unrequited love. Beulah released two more great albums after When Your Heartstrings Break, particulary Yoko, which I recommend to the fullest. Beulah’s albums are full of nicely arranged guitars and strings with almost twenty guest musicians. They are definitely worth checking out.

The Cars – Why Can’t I Have You


Sure, The New Cars are decent enough for a bit of summer fun, but the original Cars with Ric Ocasek blow them away. I could post one of their very well known hits, but instead I’ll post the somewhat popular melancholy ‘Why Can’t I Have You’. This song is driven by the certain sadness of unreachable desires as Ric Ocasek uses his trademark vocal delivery over catchy synths: “Oh baby, why can’t I have you, always breaking my heart in two, you know what I’m going through”. He knows what he’s talking about, even if he does look like an albino zombie. I strongly recommend their Greatest Hits.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound. I used to write for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine. Send your music to [email protected].