SOFT BOYS - A Can Of Bees LP
Far blunter than Underwater Moonlight, A Can of Bees positions the Soft Boys as a coal-stained industrial British counterpoint to Devo's futuristic automatons. The guitar figures are repetitive as jackhammers, the drums simple and utilitarian, and Robyn Hitchcock's voice oozes sarcasm and bitterness. Occasional forays into delicate guitar pop (see "Human Music") serve primarily as a foil to Hitchcock's snarl but only hint at the singular infectiousness the band would later achieve. A Can of Bees is a good record, but it is also a low-stakes one, never moving beyond a set of well-honed stylistic gestures.