Recording information: Apollo, Glasgow (05/1993); MCM Studios, Hamilton, Scotland (05/1993); The Practice Pad, Glasgow,Scotland (05/1993); Apollo, Glasgow (12/1995); MCM Studios, Hamilton, Scotland (12/1995); The Practice Pad, Glasgow,Scotland (12/1995); Apollo, Glasgow (1994-04-??&1994-09-??_1995-); MCM Studios, Hamilton, Scotland (1994-04-??&1994-09-??_1995-); The Practice Pad, Glasgow,Scotland (1994-04-??&1994-09-??_1995-).
Photographer: Martyn Goodacre.
Coming on the heels of a double-disc career retrospective and an expanded version of their three albums, i love bis fills in the last piece of the bis puzzle. Comprised of the trio's ramshackle, energy-blasted early singles and EPs, with some choice unreleased tracks mixed in, the collection is both a handy historical document and a total blast. When the band began in the early '90s, they had unbridled enthusiasm that could barely be contained in the grooves, but they also had a knack for writing snappy, poppy hooks that served them very well. Their very first EP, 1994's Transmissions on the Teen C Tip, showed them combining the ferocity of punk and riot grrrl while also dishing out some seriously catchy tunes. The vicious "Kill Yr Boyfriend" lays out the template for the punky side of their approach very well, while the bubbly, danceable "Sci-fi Superstar" is a candy floss slice of disco-fied pop that shows off the other half of their template. The singles that follow all work along the same lines, with the band growing and exploring new sounds throughout. It's always fun, and the collection does well to capture the beginning stages of the band. The addition of unreleased tracks is a boon for collectors and the 20-plus-minute sound collage of early demos ("Nation Go Yeah!" "The Home Demonstrations") is a lo-fi treat. With weird found sound snippets, bursts of noise, songs that were never remade, and a very scruffy version of "Kill Yr Boyfriend," it's the kind of artifact that often gets lost and never recovered. Kudos to the band for holding on to the tape and more importantly, for sharing it with the bis faithful on this vital compilation. ~ Tim Sendra