Wannadies - Before & After | RECORD STORE DAY

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DISC: 1

1. Little by Little
2. Nothing Wrong
3. Piss on You
4. Skin
5. Uri Geller
6. All Over Me
7. Disko
8. Singalong Son
9. Come With Me (Till Things Get Better)
10. Happy
11. Can't Stop You
12. Love Letter

Reviews:

The Modern Rock window cracked open briefly for the Wannadies in 1996, when the Swedes' peppy "You And Me Song" landed on the Romeo + Juliet soundtrack, and for the remainder of the '90s RCA attempted to capitalize on that modest U.S. beachhead, eventually bringing in Ric Ocasek to produce 2000's Yeah. But by then the Modern Rock format had turned away from brainy pop, toward thick-skulled nu-rock, leaving scores of bands such as the Wannadies without major label deals and scrambling to maintain some semblance of forward motion. Hard to say if Before & After, issued nearly two years ago in Sweden and finally available Stateside on an indie, will help the band regain that momentum-its pleasures seem fleeting at best, perilously dated at worst. The relatively downtempo second half (After) shows promise, in particular the lush-life, Brian Wilson-meets-New Order "Disko" and the Saint Etienne-styled dreampop of "Come With Me." But by that point the listener's already had to endure the abrasive Pixies-isms and flatulent, Cars-style new wave of the Before half. (Not to mention a shrill production style that renders even the slightest "s" sound or high-end effect in unnaturally sibilant hues.) One patience-testing track, "Nothing Wrong," with jittery synth gulps, faux-glam-guitar and overwrought vocals, manages to channel both influences at once. The sing-song novelty tune that follows it feels disturbingly prescient: with annoying quirkiness "Piss On You" effectively does just that all over the band's commercial prospects in America.

"The Modern Rock window cracked open briefly for the Wannadies in 1996, when the Swedes' peppy ""You And Me Song"" landed on the Romeo + Juliet soundtrack, and for the remainder of the '90s RCA attempted to capitalize on that modest U.S. beachhead, eventually bringing in Ric Ocasek to produce 2000's Yeah. But by then the Modern Rock format had turned away from brainy pop, toward thick-skulled nu-rock, leaving scores of bands such as the Wannadies without major label deals and scrambling to maintain some semblance of forward motion. Hard to say if Before & After, issued nearly two years ago in Sweden and finally available Stateside on an indie, will help the band regain that momentum-its pleasures seem fleeting at best, perilously dated at worst. The relatively downtempo second half (After) shows promise, in particular the lush-life, Brian Wilson-meets-New Order ""Disko"" and the Saint Etienne-styled dreampop of ""Come With Me."" But by that point the listener's already had to endure the abrasive Pixies-isms and flatulent, Cars-style new wave of the Before half. (Not to mention a shrill production style that renders even the slightest ""s"" sound or high-end effect in unnaturally sibilant hues.) One patience-testing track, ""Nothing Wrong,"" with jittery synth gulps, faux-glam-guitar and overwrought vocals, manages to channel both influences at once. The sing-song novelty tune that follows it feels disturbingly prescient: with annoying quirkiness ""Piss On You"" effectively does just that all over the band's commercial prospects in America.

"