Reason #338 Why The ’80’s Didn’t Suck: HUP

HUPWhen music talk turns to the topic of under appreciated artists the Wonder Stuff is always right near the top (Teenage Fanclub, Supergrass and Sloan are #’s 1 #2, and #3, respectively). They released 3 top albums, one mediocre one, and then disappeared until 2004 when they released the more than decent Escape From Rubbish Island. By that time, though, most were past caring. For a while, though, these guys were a real breath of fresh air, and HUP, their second helping, is my favorite. The first album was a jangly, power pop gem, while HUP added a little Madchester Magic to things, which added a whole new layer to their already (wonderfully) complicated sound. There’s anglo-funk (30 Years In The Bathroom, Let’s Be Other People), folky faux-Americana (Golden Green), and Byrdsian pop (Piece Of Sky).

Allmusic hates this album, and I usually agree with most of their ratings, but definitely not in this case. I think it’s a fantastic album, and one hell of a way to close out the decade.