Cosmic Rough Riders, Enjoy The Melodic Sunshine (2000)
It's hard to describe the Cosmic Rough Riders without mentioning Teenage Fanclub (due for an entry here soon enough) -- both Scottish, both rely on mellow guitars, soaring harmonies, tuneful choruses; both draw from a similar well of Big Star and the Beach Boys. But CRR have plenty of memorable tunes of their own.
Who exactly CRR are is a complicated story. The studio band was originally just singer/songwriter Daniel Wylie with help from guitarist Stephen Fleming. Yet when Wylie left, Fleming kept the band going under the CRR name, kind of like Doug Yule's Velvet Underground. The first post-Wylie album (2003's Too Close To See Far) actually managed to sound like a Wylie album, though a later one did not. Meanwhile, Wylie issued a number of solo albums before, more recently, recovering the band name and issuing a few albums as Daniel's Wylie's Cosmic Rough Riders.
Anyway, Enjoy the Melodic Sunshine is the key release from the original incarnation of the band. It's a bit of a cheat, a compilation of sorts, mostly compiling tracks from an independently-released album called Panorama joined by a couple tracks from a prior release and a few new tunes. And it's pretty damn great. You've got a few absolutely stellar singles, most notably "Glastonbury Revisited," "Revolution In The Summertime," and "Have You Heard The News Today?" Seriously, each one of these should have made the band a monster. The rest may blend together a bit more, but it's never less than lovely.
So, hey, it's record-breaking heat today here in San Francisco, a good day for the beach. And this is your perfect beach record.