By a long shot, one of the best pure pop bands of the mid-to-late 90’s is Sweden’s The Merrymakers. I know you’re probably saying, “Merry-who?” If you’ve never heard of this band and think of the Cardigans as Sweden’s best pop export, it’s not surprising. The band has been around since 1991 and has had hits in Europe and Japan, but has never gotten a U.S. release. Thankfully that oversight has finally been addressed with the February release of 1997’s Bubblegun, which for pop collectors like myself, also includes a second bonus disc with five tracks from their classic 1995 debut No Sleep ‘Til Famous.
While the lyrics could stand some minor improvement, the band is musically flawless, proffering infectious tunes that lodge in your head, seemingly permanently. A strong Jellyfish strain runs through the songs, which is not surprising given that Andy Sturmer produced a couple of the tracks. Other obvious reference points include The Beatles, Queen, Crowded House, and Squeeze.