|Labels||Paperhouse, Creation, Atlantic|
|The Vaselines, BMX Bandits, Teenage Fanclub, The Painkillers, The Pastels, The Famous Monsters|
Eugenius (formerly known as Captain America) was an indie rock band from Glasgow, Scotland that existed from 1990-1995, centred on former Vaselines singer/guitarist Eugene Kelly and featuring members of BMX Bandits and Teenage Fanclub.
Captain America was formed in 1990 by Eugene Kelly following the dissolution of his former band, The Vaselines. The initial line-up as Captain America was Eugene Kelly (guitar and vocals), Gordon Keen (of BMX Bandits, guitar), James Seenan (bass), and Andy Bollen (drums), who replaced guest live drummer Brendan O'Hare of Teenage Fanclub. The line-up later changed, as the name changed to Eugenius with Seenan leaving to be replaced by Raymond Boyle, and Roy Lawrence replacing Bollen. Joe McAlinden also contributed bass and violin, and Francis MacDonald drums on the recording of Oomalama. This record was recorded as Captain America but released as Eugenius.
As Kurt Cobain was a big fan of Kelly's work with The Vaselines, Nirvana invited Eugenius to open dates on their 1991 European Tour. Kelly also joined Nirvana on stage during their 1991 Reading Festival performance, with Nirvana's Krist Novoselic later saying "My favourite part came when Eugene Kelly from The Vaselines came on stage. Eugene's just so cool - he can turn weed into marijuana, sugar into cocaine and diet pills into amphetamines". Kelly said of the Nirvana link, "They also liked Captain America and they just happened to be in a position to help us out, so they did by giving us a bit of promotion whenever they could".
In 1991 the band released an EP under the name "Captain America", called EP on British independent label Paperhouse, then in 1992 they released their second EP, Flame On, on the same label. The band were forced to change their name due to legal threats from Marvel Comics, who owned the legal rights to the name "Captain America". They decided on Eugenius, which had been Kelly's longtime nickname.Flame On also landed the band in legal trouble, due to the use of the C&A clothing chain's logo on the sleeve.
With Cobain campaigning on their behalf, Eugenius attracted the attention of Atlantic Records' A&R man Steve Greenberg and the band was subsequently signed to the major label. In 1992, after delays due to the legal situation surrounding their band name, they released their first album, Oomalama, which received highly favourable reviews.
In 1994, Eugenius released three EPs, Caesar's Vein, Easter Bunny and the six-song live EP It Ain't Rocket Science, It's Eugenius!. The same year saw the release of the band's second full-length album, Mary Queen Of Scots, but once again they were unable to extend their audience to a significant extent. The song "Blue Above The Rooftops" (from Mary Queen Of Scots) was a moderate hit for the group in 1994 on the Alternative charts.
Following the limited success of Mary Queen Of Scots, Eugenius was dropped by Atlantic Records and then recorded an EP entitled Womb Boy Returns for Human Condition Records which was released in 1996. In 1998, Kelly disbanded Eugenius, later re-emerging as a solo artist with Man Alive, released in 2004.
After the Vaselines, [Eugene] Kelly formed Captain America, which, following two ace singles, abandoned its moniker under threat of legal action from Marvel Comics and adopted his nickname, Eugenius, instead.