Saturday, January 13, 2018

Chastain and Menck's Magnum Opus

There are plenty of other places to go with the duo of Paul Chastain and Ric Menck, but I'm going to conclude this brief series with the band and album they will be most remembered for... 'Teenage Symphonies to God' by Velvet Crush.

When this one came out in 1994, there was so much for me to celebrate. Let's start with the label. The lads followed up stints with the likes of Summershine, Subway and Sarah, to name but a few, by adding Alan McGee's Creation to their impressive ancestry. Then there was the band itself. Chastain and Menck were joined by Jeffrey Borchardt of Honeybunch fame. Mitch Easter not only co-produced the album at his legendary Drive-In Studio, one of the last albums done there, but we all know Easter likes to lend a helping hand on both sides of the glass too. Assistance also came from names like Stephen Duffy, Greg Leisz and many others. There would be songs penned by Matthew Sweet and Gene Clark from his days with Dillard & Clark. Bottom line, for me, this is an all-star cast.

I could go on and on, but suffice it to say all of this added up to 'Teenage Symphonies to God' (oh, I forgot to even mention lauding Brian Wilson!) being just about the best 40 minutes of power-pop you'll ever hear.

"Hold Me Up"
"Why Not Your Baby"


Anonymous said...

Yep, this was a corker. The Gene Clark cover is fantastic. The debut album on Creation was good, too. Saw them live in Manchester, supporting Teenage Fanclub, around the time of the Post-Greatness EP (love the track Gentle Breeze from that EP).


Brian said...

TFC and VC on the same bill! Wow!! Filled with envy, Darren.

McPop said...

Classic power pop album should be in everyone’s collection. Not a bad track on there, some of my faves include Atmosphere, Weird Sunmer and Time Wraps around You. Cover art and band photo on the back are very cool too. All and all a perfect record! Would love to have it on vinyl but hard to come by and expensive.

The Swede said...

I saw them on that tour as well Darren. Velvet Crush's cover of 'Why Not Your Baby' is lovely - one of my all time favourite songs. Sid Griffin did a nice version too.