Friday, September 22, 2017

Our American Cousins - demo (1990)

It's amazing that a relatively "minor" piece of music recorded almost three decades ago made the kind of effect on me this tape did a couple of days ago when I went to play it for the first time.  I think I received Our American Cousins demo a few years back in a bundle of cassettes I purchased on Ebay.  I went into this with little to no expectations.  To my surprise I was treated to a quartet of dazzling mid-fidelity pop tunes from a New Jersey coed troupe who by the sounds of things had their collective gaze fixed upon the Brit indie pop scene of the late '80s.  You know - early Primal Scream, maybe some June Brides, a whiff or two of those early Ride eps.  Dabblings into shoegazer and even punk-pop make themselves faintly evident as well.  Top it all off with a hint of grainy sonic mystique, and by Jove, we may have picked a winner.  Per their Discogs tally, OAC released a bundle of singles, but alas, no full length.  The opening cut, "One Wish Too Many" has a pesky audio dropout at around the one minute mark, but it looks like the tune materialized on one of their 45s.  As of 2014 it looks like the group reunited

01. One Wish Too Many
02. Come On, Come On
03. Ice 9
04. Fuzzbox



Days of the Broken Arrows said...

Never heard of this. But, then, why tune into a blog called "Willfully Obscure" if you feel like you're gonna be familiar with what they post?

I wonder if this band took its name from the 1985 Canadian film "My American Cousin?" It got a 1986 release in the US and although it was not a hit in theaters, it found a home on cable TV, where stations like HBO played it all the time. (This same thing happened to "Sixteen Candles" and "Johnny Dangerously"). Anyway, if you had cable then, odds are you chanced onto "My American Cousin." Below is a link to the trailer. Thanks for the post.

spavid said...

Yeah, that's likely where they got their name from. Definitely a cultural reference. Thanks.

ropie said...

That last track kind of reminds me of Galaxie 500. Really good to hear this lost piece of indie history.

- "I wonder if this band took its name from the 1985 Canadian film "My American Cousin?""
Distinct possibility. I saw a mid 80's Canadian film last week - Whale Music - pretty good too!

lucky said...

Our American Cousin was a very famous English stage play from the 1850's, it is what Lincoln was watching on that fateful night.

I see this was produced by Joe McGinty, he of The Psychedelic Furs and The Losers Lounge fame, which guarantees a listen by me. I seem to remember this band from a comp somewhere, but I can't put my finger on it and thus am probably mistaken.

I don't know how you keep coming up with these gems but please accept my hearty thanks!

lucky said...

Ah......the One Last Kiss comp

Should have thought of that!

lucky said...

"One wish too many" from the One Last Kiss comp

spavid said...

Thanks lucky. Overlooked that compilation as well.

Unknown said...

Hey, thanks for the really late review. Wish you had been around back then for the support. We could have used it! I was the guitarist who put this NYC band together and wrote most of the material. I did take the name from the the play that Lincoln was watching on that fateful night, and it WAS because we were really influenced by mid-80s Indie Britpop; JAMC, Shop Assistants, Wedding Present, Mighty Lemon Drops, etc, and you even pegged us for the June Brides. Great ear there, because we even used to even cover one of their songs sometimes. Found your site because I'm trying to replace a comp single I no longer have due to a theft. Again, thanks for making me smile!

Kind regards,


David said...

Re-up. PLEASE!