Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Eugenius - Oomalama

Year: 1992
Genre: Indie-rock

Highlight Tracks: "Here I Go", "I'm The Sun", "Bye Bye"
Weak Track: "Bed-in"

This is a nice, little record from those innocent and oblivious high school years. In the vein of Teenage Fanclub or The Lemonheads, it is inoffensive mix-tape for-a-girl-you-like music. It pretty much sums up being clueless about girls; complete with the highs and lows of having hopeless crushes across the classroom.

This album is chock full of energetic indie-rockers that would be great anthems for any off-beat teen relationship. Songs that have just the right amount of guitar and whimsy for that drive down to the shore, but also have enough hidden damage in the vocals to put a dagger right through your heart after the inevitable break-up. It has a nice 'remember the good times, I want to call her' quality to it.

Beyond those excellent masochistic teen aspects, for the long-haul the album features great, early-90's guitar-pop. This is a sunny, energetic album with just the right off-beat vocal tone to miss the mainstream. This album went nowhere when it hit U.S. shores back in '92, even though it was plugged by Kurt Cobain as one of his favorite bands. This commercial failure may have been due to the fact that Marvel comics sued the band into changing their name from Captain America only after the music press had heralded Captain America as the second-coming of indie-Jesus. A second coming that came to the U.S. disguised as Eugenius (named after the band's primary song-writer, Eugene Kelly).

After the barn-burner opening/title track, the album feels low-key until the sixth song when it takes-off like a rocket. The excellent indie-rocker "Down on Me" begins an incredible run of nine invincible tracks that really put this album on the map. Oomalama is much more interesting than anything The Lemonheads did in the 90's and nearly rivals Teenage Fanclub's classic American debut, Bandwagonesque.

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