So they wrote a song for a single between the first and second albums, and decided they'd try their hand at pop. The signer/lead songwriter sat down with his influences and found out, to what we can later assume to be some horror, that he was really really good at a) writing catchy pop songs and b) despising people who liked these songs.
The song itself is a monument to Despite, but the video is a fascinating straight-on view of it - in the moments where it can be bothered to meet your gaze. There is barely a second when the singer isn't sneering or mock-idioting or staring unsmiling at the camera (a trick he was to grow fonder of). The scope is (ahem) universal - these are idiots in the song and you are idiots for liking this and he's an idiot for doing it, and he's really an idiot for doing it well and don't you agree that he's doing it well?
From one point of view it's a death note of an indie band, the stare before the morphine kicks in - from another it's a birth scream of one of our great pop bands for a few years, arriving already aware that irony is not a balm - but that neither is this knowledge.
Unsusprisingly, it wasn't a hit. More surprisingly, it's one of my favourite songs, a punchy up-tempo number that I will happily jump around a room to at the drop of a hat.
Anyway, you are 20 years older than you were when Popscene was released. Enjoy!