Exposé Online banner

Soft Boys — Nextdoorland
(Matador OLE-553, 2002, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2003-02-01

Nextdoorland Cover art

I don’t think I would get much argument if I claimed that the Soft Boys were, in their original incarnation (1976-1981) the prime exponents of psychedelic punk music. The sheer lack of competition in the field assures them a place in history. Not that they were very punkish, though in true garage psych tradition they got pretty noisy at times. It would also be easy to say that the Boys were nothing more than the vehicle for leader Robyn Hitchcock’s rather unusual musical vision, though farther from the truth. While Hitchcock was always the songwriter, the band contributed a lot to sound, as can be determined by comparing Soft Boys records to Hitchcock’s numerous solo releases (at least twelve at this writing by my count). The twin-guitar sound of the Boys is what is missing. Hitchcock is a fine guitarist on his own, but when he has Kimberley Rew to play off of, something special results. This reunion album features ten songs with lyrics by Hitchcock and a bit of help from his old compatriots. The same odd lyrical twists you expect are very much in evidence, with my favorite being “If you were as hard as a diamond, you could be used as a cutting tool, right in the forefront of industry” in “Unprotected Love” (which is not about safe sex, but taking emotional chances). I would highly recommend this release to any fans of tuneful psychedelic rock. There are no long spacey jams, just twisted songs with humorous lyrics played very well.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 26, 2002 releases

Related artist(s): Robyn Hitchcock, The Soft Boys

Latest news

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more

2018-10-17
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more

2018-09-05
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Nyl - Nyl – This prog rock quartet from Russia aims at two often hefty contrasting concepts: commercialism and ingenuity. It’s amazing how a complex structure flows out in a sing-song refrain. You can’t...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues