April 4, 2000
In general, things change, but for those following the example of [a]Teenage Fanclub[/a], they remain pretty much the same....
6 / 10
In general, things change, but for those following the example of Teenage Fanclub, they remain pretty much the same. And basically that means a love of tunes, jangling guitars and an overwhelming desire to be Californian.
Following this lead, and plundering The Beach Boys and The Byrds, are Cosmic Rough Riders. It might be as retro as anything dadrock, but in the face of so much Beatles worship, influences that were practically de rigueur a few years ago now seem almost original.
They're not, of course, but that shouldn't detract from CRR's quality tune craftsmanship. Rugged, yet beautiful, occasionally tinged with folk, but mainly densely woven from the finest jangles, 'The Gun Isn't Loaded' is psychedelia for playing in an LA opium den, while songs like 'The Pain Inside' take the basics of their heroes (ringing guitars, breathless harmonies, timeless pop songs) and combine them with an insistent charm all their own. It's proof that it's not only Travis writing songs to touch the heart with weary optimism.
In future historians are bound to ponder why a sizeable strand of Scottish pop folk spent their time trying to convince us they were from the American West Coast. The cutting edge it isn't, but with songs this warm, that hardly seems to matter.
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