Friday, July 8, 2022

Wannadies - Västerbotten 3xLP


Startracks (2022)

The Wannadies had a several album span from the mid 90s to the early 2000s where they really just hit it out of the park every single time.  You want to talk about the best Weezer or Fountains of Wayne songs?  Chances are there's over a dozen Wannadies songs that are probably much better.  I'm not sure that any band does guitar pop better, especially when they really hit their stride.

But it's been a really long time since The Wannadies were putting out records.  Twenty years, if you want to get specific.  The band recently has gotten back together and is playing some shows.  There's no news of a new album just yet, but they have put together Västerbotten, a compilation of B sides and rarities.  Not to be confused with Skellefteå...also a collection of rarities?

Anyway, Västerbotten is a double LP release.  The third LP in my set is an extra 12" single with four cover songs.  Now, I have a bunch of Wannadies CD singles and 7"s, but listening to this set was a reminder that their non album songs are probably non album songs because they weren't quite as good as the ones on the actual albums.

That's not to say any of these songs are bad.  They're not and in fact many of them are quite excellent.  But my main takeaway is that a lot of the B sides are songs that are much slower and/or mellower than what made the albums.  A bit more introspective.  More acoustic guitar.  Still phenomenal songs, but lacking a little bit of the punch that really makes me connect to an album like Bagsy Me.

The cover songs on the bonus 12" are fun, but I prefer Wannadies originals.  I'm glad I got it, but I don't think people would be missing out on too much if they got the regular double LP, which is good news for you as the version with the bonus 12" is sold out now anyway.  I do appreciate so many of these songs being rescued from CD single purgatory in my collection, though this isn't where I would recommend someone start if they were new to The Wannadies.

Wannadies - Västerbotten:

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