Hear The Track Here
Drugs are baaad m'OK? Except when they are good. It's a well known fact that making music and drugs go together in many peoples eyes, although not in every case. However, I have to stress that the drugs that fuelled the new Bikini Black Special were of a more conventional type - painkillers. Surely the music wasn't that bad? Nope, as my review of The Grim Mathematics Of Intercourse CD (November 2009), Bikini Black Special are a bit different in many ways, it takes time to get to know this bands music so be best not to do this one in drive-by stylee... Obviously it's been a while since that CD and this one, and that is where the painkiller story comes in. After a year or so of problems - physical and otherwise - the band set to 'writing new material in a haze of hardcore painkillers' and surely the title of the CD tells the whole story of this time. Talk about the best writing comes from you know and experience.
So, face masks on, and let's begin...
BBS are a five piece band from Preston (that's the North of England for our American chums) who make what they call 'electro-rock noisemakers' which is why I say it will take time to truly appreciate what this band does. Certainly the intro to the first track, The Safety Plan will have you scratching your heads but give it a moment and it becomes a very good song - provided, of course, that you like music that dares to be a little different. Their line-up and choice of instruments says it all, Lyndsey Wilson supplies the vocals, Paddy Green, gtr/vocals/coding, Bobby Gormley on drums, Jonti Peters on keyboards and Tom Woolsgrove on violin. Not your conventional lineup that's for sure and as odd as their music often is, the roots of it are definitely in the music they heard growing up - I hear many influences. If you really want a track that says this is BBS, then go for the second track Lone Mouse In The Reptile House - very clever musically and a really good song into the bargain.
In some places I am reminded of Fear 2 Stop musically, although the voices of Paddy and Lyndsey make all the difference. Moreover, Lyndsey has a very English voice and approach (think Kate Bush)and - surprisingly enough - it really fits in with the particular Bikini Black Special sound they come up with. No slouch at songwriters either I say. 'I wouldn't wish a plague on your house' Kobra Kai states but goes on to add that a little sickness wouldn't go amiss. Got to love that understatement. Kobra Kai also shows how well the band ride odd rhythms, a bit of a hallmark of theirs, Taken as a whole I'd say that Better Homes and Gardens is probably the band at their most commercial and accessible but again, conventional it isn't. 'You are not gonna get rich, bitch' The Bikini Method says, and I'd say the same for this CD. However, if your taste is towards the more 'interesting' and 'intelligent' musical styles, this CD puts Bikini Black Special up there with the best of them. Let's hope there are sufficient drugs left around to make another just like this. At this point, I have to say I am definitely a fan of this very different band, and that's a good thing for me, and hopefully for you too if you like this style because putting the time in is soooo worth it.
Highly Recommended 'electro-rock noisemaking'