Pop Will Eat Itself – Now For A Feast (Cherry Red Records)
Alternative rock legends Pop Will Eat Itself see their 1988 compilation re-released by Cherry Red. Louder Than War’s Paul Scott-Bates reminisces.
The late 80s spawned a clutch of anarchic sounding alternative pop rock that seemed, for a couple of years, to fill a wanting in British music. Pop Will Eat Itself, Jesus Jones, Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, Carter USM and The Wonder Stuff (whose lead singer Miles Hunt was drummer with From Eden – an early incarnation of PWEI), gave us explosive, carefree, sometimes comical music which had the acclaim to dominate but never really got beyond that. Sure, they tickled the top end of the charts but their legacy is probably more enduring than any success they enjoyed at the time.
PWEI were/are underrated. Fact. There is little to compare nowadays to their blend of starkly incisive comment and wit. The mix of hip ho, dance and rock (which was polished and perfected for the charts by Wiltshire boys Jesus Jones) gave a raw, almost punk feel to potentially great pop songs.
‘Now For A Feast’ covers the first year of the band and is – amazingly – the sixth re-release/ re-package of the album. This time around it includes bonuses in the form of unheard demos, live versions and later versions – in total a whacking twenty-eight tracks. There are also some great, brand new liner notes from guitarist/keyboardist Adam Mole in the accompanying twelve page booklet.
From the fifty-nine second Candydiosis to the cover of the Sigue Sigue Sputnik’s incredibly underrated Love Missile F1-11, PWEI steam through an endless foray of high-powered compositions.
Titles like There’s A Psychopath In My Soup and Black Country Chainstore Massacre don’t fail to disappoint and Monogamy is sheer bliss.
The prospects of getting bored with any track are slim as many are over before you get the chance. Paving the way for classics like Def Con One and Can U Dig It, Now For A Feast is a gem.
All words by Paul Scott-Bates. More of Paul’s writing on Louder Than War can be found here. Paul’s website is hiapop Blog. Paul is working hard to save Radio Lancashire’s On The Wire, the BBCs longest running alternative music programme. Follow him on twitter as @saveonthewire for all On The Wire news or follow hiapop Blog on Twitter, @hiapop.