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

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more

2019-02-21
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more

2019-01-31
Keyboardist Ingo Bischof R.I.P. – Keyboard player Ingo Bischof, best known as the longtime keyboard player of German band Kraan, passed away on January 29th, 2019. Bischof was born January 2, 1951 in Berlin-Kreuzberg and joined Kraan in 1975. » Read more

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Aelian - The Watcher – This is one of Musea's new releases, a label which for many years I considered infallible, but in the last few years they have occasionally proven me wrong with releases like Fancy Fluid's...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues