At last, The BMX Bandits "Bee Stings" has been released in the UK by Joe Foster's new Poppy Disc imprint. As pure pop music goes it's pretty much unbeatable because there's so much heart and soul tied up in the realisation. These re-fashioned Bandits mean business. It all kicks off with the single (also available on 7" kids!) "Take Me To Heaven" which will answer any questions you might have had if you ever dreamt that Burt Bacharach wrote "Don't Fear The Reaper". I'm always wary of the expression "sophisticated" but in the proper hands then it's acceptable. This set is that in spades and further cements the reputation of Captain David Scott as arranger extraordinaire. "Sing The Things" could be a lost Edwards/Rogers song but of course it isn't. It's written by the crack team of Stewart and Scott. Rachel Mackenzie's voice is a perfect foil to Duglas and when you see them live, the feeling of love in the room is palpable. I'll tell you a story. First time I ever heard the BMX Bandits, I wanted to kill them. As time went on I came to appreciate that everyone has to start someplace and now there are fewer better groups on earth. A song like "I Know A Secret" (with Evie Sands on backing vocals) seems to go against everything that the music business has come to stand for. Under the right conditions it'll reduce you to small chunks of rubble. I haven't asked Duglas which particular meaning this "Bee Stings" title has. And it doesn't matter. The band has made a quietly understated masterpiece that people will discover and wonder how the hell it's possible to make music this rich.
As I've said often in the past, forget pigeonholes and alleged genres. There is only good and bad music. Granted some of it can be ugly too but the BMX Bandits are here to steer you right. As the album closes with "The Last Song", it's evident that they're capable of making a big rock anthem in the tradition of TFC. If Bellshill had a boardwalk then this would be on permanent repeat at that particular fairground. I just wonder how Davie got Herb Alpert in to do the brass?
Infused. Enthused. These sounds are the stuff of life and as mood music goes, this'll lift the darkest of spirits. Take it from somebody who knows.