Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda Been Huge - Articles - Soundblab

Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda Been Huge

by Dan Clay Rating: Release Date:

With all the manufactured pap around it's easy to get passionate about hard-working music acts that don't seem to get the recognition they deserve. Some do (Arctic Monkeys etc) while others seem to progress no further beyond their niche no matter how good their songs are. So why aren't these guys huge?

Cosmic Rough Riders

Taking over where Teenage Fanclub left off, Glasgow's second best Indie-pop group seemed destined for cult stardom after their superb Enjoy the Melodic Sunshine hit the shelves. Then suddenly lead singer Daniel Wylie left to pursue the dreaded solo career (although his material's been just as good) and after a decent follow up album (2003's Too Close to See Far) and a mediocre one in The Stars Look Different From Down Here little's been heard of since. Had Wylie stuck around then who knows what they might have gone on to do. One listen to their music though will make you pine for that alternative reality.

Best Album - Enjoy the Melodic Sunshine (2000) Melodic Pop Perfection.

Mull Historical Society

Colin MacIntyre's "one man band" (there were four of them actually!) lasted four years but produced three great albums. Much like CRR, this Scottish outfit perfected the guitar-pop sound and for a while looked like they might break into the semi-big time. However the sudden shift in talent show's popularity and mediocre singer-songwriters a la James Bland (Blunt) meant Colin took his own name but lost some of the sparkle. A shame.

Best Album - Loss (2001) Not a loss if you own it.

Ed Harcourt

See the last comment above really. A genuinely talented singer-songwriter who's still recording but has been tragically overlooked in favour of Blunt, Gray and Nutini while producing material the likes of them would struggle to place on their MOR background drawl. Creating lush sounds, haunting ballads and quirky pop he's due some decent recognition at last.

Best Album - Probably debut album Here Be Monsters (2001) Here Be Talent.

The Shins

Albuquerque's finest and one of Sub Pop's greatest success stories have certainly become more popular recently. Loved by Zach Braff and The OC producers, they've achieved a sort of Modest Mouse level of love in the States, although they're yet to break out beyond the cult just yet. After three albums of zappy pop and cleverly created guitar pop, lead singer James Mercer's taking a break for a year or two to work with Danger Mouse. Let's hope he's back in the fold soon because there's too many geeks in the world missing their favourite band at the moment.

Best Album - Chutes Too Narrow (2003) Each track seems to get better.

Woodpigeon

Canada's best band (who's the competition?) have three superb albums under their belt and seem primed to take the world by storm with their blend of whimsical melodic Indie pop. Perhaps the eight member thing is putting people off, or perhaps they just don't like lovely melodies and a bit of whimsy (although Florence's rapid rise blows that theory out of the water). Whatever it is, get their three albums now and marvel at why this band isn't pulling in the punters in droves and yet The Saturdays can fill arenas. What is wrong with the world?

Best Album - Treasury Library Canada (2008) A real treasure.

Comments (18)

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The Research! Their first album was just fantastic. Read why here: http://soundblab.com/content/content/view/id/1396/preview/1 It makes me hopping mad that they didn't get the recognition they deserved while hidious axon-deficient dullards like...

The Research! Their first album was just fantastic. Read why here: http://soundblab.com/content/content/view/id/1396/preview/1 It makes me hopping mad that they didn't get the recognition they deserved while hidious axon-deficient dullards like The Pigeon Detectives did. It's something I will never, ever forgive NME for.

For incontrovertible proof of how great The Research were, watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCegQXt0MIc

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Good choice. Sounds nice!

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Dan, just listen to Radio 1 and there's your answer to what's wrong with the world, or the UK at least. If you're looking for awful music that really should not make a playlist over any of the above, try that new one from Ne-Yo or whatever he's...

Dan, just listen to Radio 1 and there's your answer to what's wrong with the world, or the UK at least. If you're looking for awful music that really should not make a playlist over any of the above, try that new one from Ne-Yo or whatever he's called. I think it's called Beautiful Monster or something, quite possibly the worst thing I've heard in a long time. On the other hand I'm one of those people who wants all the good stuff to myself so I'm happy that the best bands don't get the airplay.

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I guess deciding whats really 'underrated' and whats 'appreciated' is a tough call- I mean do sales really mean appreciation in the same way that genuine fan support does? And do the bands you love really care if they're not played in busy...

I guess deciding whats really 'underrated' and whats 'appreciated' is a tough call- I mean do sales really mean appreciation in the same way that genuine fan support does? And do the bands you love really care if they're not played in busy shopping centers and branches of HMV? I guess it just comes down to thinking that more people should know about a band you love..but its better to spread the word amongst yr friends than to wish your best kept secret worldwide superstardom. Who wants to be Bono anyway.

So, here's a few acts I think are sometimes overlooked:

1. Mansun. Influenced by acts like Magazine and responsible for two classic albums- 'Attack of the Grey Lantern' and 'Six'. So much more to 'em then 'Wide Open Space'.

2. Deus. Belgiums best band. Just listen to the awesome 'The Ideal Crash' for proof.

3. Comet Gain. A love of Dexys, Orange Juice and that great indie sound. Listen to the inspiring 'Realistes' album.

4. Low. Not met anyone who hasn't been blown away once they've heard Low- stunning harmonies and a sound like no other. Check out 'Drums & Guns'.

5. Earth. Dylan Carlson is a genius. Beautiful, trance inducing drone. Listen to 'The Bees made Honey in the Lions Skull' or 'Pentastar: In the Style of Demons'.

6. Bongwater. Featuring Ann Magnuson and Kramer (who produced Galaxie 500). A cult college rock band who made the amazing 'The Power of Pussy' album. I end up telling everyone about this album, get past the title and any pre-conceptions and you'll find a really great record.

As for Canadian bands to compete with Woodpigeon. How about Black Mountain?

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Jane's Addiction - always thought of as a metal band but are definitely not. Without a doubt quite big in the US and over here they filled Academy size venues but they never featured on end of year lists and the NME virtually ignored them. Split...

Jane's Addiction - always thought of as a metal band but are definitely not. Without a doubt quite big in the US and over here they filled Academy size venues but they never featured on end of year lists and the NME virtually ignored them. Split up in 1991 just as they were about to go massive and it wasn't quite the same when they reformed 11 years later. Just listen to Ritual De Lo Habitual very loud, they kicked the doors open for the likes of Nirvana.

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Right now, Cocknbullkid should be getting LOADS more attention than she is. It's staggering that Gaga, La Roux and Florence are getting fawned over while someone as talented as Anita Blay remains on the fringes. She is exactly what a pop star...

Right now, Cocknbullkid should be getting LOADS more attention than she is. It's staggering that Gaga, La Roux and Florence are getting fawned over while someone as talented as Anita Blay remains on the fringes. She is exactly what a pop star should be in 2010: http://www.youtube.com/watch#!v=JZQweaXQBcM&;amp;feature=related

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cocknbullkid has just that little bit extra that makes her a bit special but probably means she won't go storming the charts. The likes of La Roux and the awful Little Boots will always appeal to the pop fan but cocknbullkid will just be seen as...

cocknbullkid has just that little bit extra that makes her a bit special but probably means she won't go storming the charts. The likes of La Roux and the awful Little Boots will always appeal to the pop fan but cocknbullkid will just be seen as a bit weird. Which as I said above is great in my opinion but not very fair for those artists trying to make a living.

Also just about anyone on the Jagjaguwar label right now should be massive, I bloody love that record label.

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The one song of the 00s that should have been a massive hit is White Rose Movement - Love Is A Number. I'm not saying the band should have been as the album wasn't that good overall but that song was ten times better than all of the other 80s...

The one song of the 00s that should have been a massive hit is White Rose Movement - Love Is A Number. I'm not saying the band should have been as the album wasn't that good overall but that song was ten times better than all of the other 80s type songs.

Kele from Bloc Party once said he wished he could write one song as good as that and unfortunately he never has.

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One of the problems with what becomes popular and what drifts into semi-obscurity is the way musics marketed by programs like T4- thinking everyone under thirty is like a character out of Scrubs and who's dream it is to one day meet Davina Mccall...

One of the problems with what becomes popular and what drifts into semi-obscurity is the way musics marketed by programs like T4- thinking everyone under thirty is like a character out of Scrubs and who's dream it is to one day meet Davina Mccall and appear in a ironic fashion article in Vice...cynical Simon Cowell types who don't want to challenge their audience too much, so essentially talk down to them by making dullness in music a viable sales commodity. Sadly NME doesn't exactly help with it's build 'em up, knock 'em down attitude to new music either, and to think it used to be a genuine alternative...ahem, rant over....

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...in my blind rage i said Scrubs when i meant Skins...

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