Oh I’m a bit behind on this one, but since it doesn’t seem to have caught hold on this side of the Atlantic, its never too late for a spotlight in my opinion. At the tail end of last year Optic Nerve, who have been doing the universe a solid by constantly picking up indie pop outliers that are in need of reissue, got their hands on a cache of unreleased recordings from BOB. The North London Indie pop band spent the years between ’86 and ‘91 releasing their own singles and sole LP on their own House of Teeth Label, but following the release of Leave The Straight Life Behind in 1991 the band’s follow up hit some major snags. The band was distributed by Rough Trade’s distribution arm, which folded around the same time, leaving the fate of their first LP in doubt and without a proper way into the shops. They spent years touring, trying to recoup the costs, but would eventually disband in 1995 without a follow-up to the record.
Despite the run of bad luck, the band actually had quite a stash of unreleased material from the later time period, and it resurfaces on You Can Stop That For a Start. The extended recording window gives the material a bit of an uneven feel, but the band’s sound straddles the jangled ends of the ‘80s and the tougher sounds of the ‘90s well without ever tipping remotely towards Britpop. If anything the band embraces a bit of American power pop and some pre-grunge toughness. In a way its for the best that this took so long to come to light. Given the band’s footing at the time, the collection may never have come together like this, with the shifting state of tastes during the mid-tip of the ‘90s. Yet here, years later, the band’s pop feels effortless, timeless, and immediate as ever.
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