The liner notes to Blue Flannel's debut album, XL, asserted, "WE ARE NOT ALTERNATIVE." Whether the Columbus, GA foursome should or shouldn't be called alternative could be debated; that term means ten different things to ten different people. What we can say for sure is that Flannel's power pop, pop-rock and punk rock is as quirky as it is hook-laden. Bratty, humorous offerings like "You Bore Me," "Sleepy Boy" and the single "Havin' a Bad Day" make it clear that Flannel isn't a band that takes itself too seriously. When lead singer Derek Coile sings about how much he hates life on "Kill Me," it's obvious that he's doing a parody of the dark, angst-ridden lyrics that often defined grunge and alternative rock in the 1990s. (In fact, the name Blue Flannel was meant to parody Seattle's grunge scene.) Meanwhile, old-time country music is parodied on the goofy "Animal Song." Listeners can decide for themselves whether or not Flannel is an alternative band; the main thing is that XL is a lot of fun.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson