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Teenage Fanclub - Endless Arcade - New LP
Teenage Fanclub - Endless Arcade - New LP
Merge Records

Teenage Fanclub - Endless Arcade - New LP

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Endless Arcade Review by Matt Collar: Teenage Fanclub's 11th studio album and first without founding member bassist/singer Gerard Love, 2021's Endless Arcade is a gentle and lyrically textured production. With the departure of Love in 2018, the band's iconic songwriting triumvirate was pared down to a duo, leaving Norman Blake (guitars/vocals) and Raymond McGinley (guitars/vocals) to carry the group's melodic legacy forward. Since their beginnings in the Scottish rock scene in the late '80s, all three singer/songwriters have contributed material to each album, leading to a balance of their complementary, but still distinctive styles.

Although Love is missed, his absence has thankfully resulted in only a subtle shift, and Teenage Fanclub still sound like the beloved purveyors of vintage-inspired guitar pop that they've always been. Recorded in Hamburg and at McGinley's home in Glasgow (with some additional recording at Rockfield Studios near Monmouth), Endless Arcade is one of their most relaxed and unassuming albums. Interestingly, it also nicely reflects their sound as a live band, showcasing their touring lineup with former Gorky's Zygotic Mynci member Euros Childs (keyboards/vocals), Francis Macdonald (drums/vocals), and David McGowan (bass/vocals). Early in their career, Teenage Fanclub might have underpinned these songs with fuzztone grunge guitars and moments of dissonant noise-rock bombast. Here, they craft a shimmering, late-'60s-inspired folk-rock sound, marked by supple vocal harmonies, sparkling guitar arpeggios, and ringing organ lines, a signature sound that has grown even more refined since they signed with Merge Records for 2005's Man-Made.

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