I don’t really know the history of dream pop, but from what little I know of it I’m willing to guess this is a fairly seminal record.
My issue, such as it is, is that I know a later band with one of these people and Galaxie 500 sound like a fuzzier, jammier version of that band. So there’s a huge sense of deja vu with me, one that I absolutely could not have felt if I had heard this record in 1988.
Trying to put that aside, this band sounds like a lot of later dream pop bands so it’s safe to assume this is pretty important for the genre.
The songs are relatively simplistic and the lyrics…well, they’re not quite naive but they are delivered with a voice that could be mistaken for naive. Wareham’s voice is at times almost childish, which makes his lyrics seem less adult than they truly are.
Though the songs are simplistic, the aesthetic (which is the draw, obviously) is mostly repetitive, distorted guitars, with that characteristic “dreamy” fuzz (though not on all tracks). In fact, if I knew more about the genre, I might claim that this band invented the “dreamy” guitar sound. (I honestly have no idea if they did. And I suspect someone beat them to it, just don’t know who.)
This isn’t exactly my kind of music – lo fi pop is never really my kind of music – but I can appreciate it and not just because of its presumed originality. For one thing, so many of the bands I know of later cleaned up the aesthetic more. (I’d rather listen to music this poppy if there’s other things going on.)
Anyway, I don’t know where it sits in the history of dream pop, but in addition to assuming it’s seminal, it’s hard not to like it for what it is.
8/10 I think