A horrible hack


Smiles Are The Batteries

Year Released: 1999
Format: CD
Label: Keystone Ember
Reviewed by Andy Malcolm on Jun 13, 2007
Few bands in punk have a singer as cool as Bedford. And not so many bands are as good as Bedford either.

Smiles are the Batteries is the debut album from this bunch of power pop punkers, fronted by a guy who can only be described as sounding like Buddy Holly. Really. He even does an impression of him replete with effects to make it sound like an old vinyl record to start off "Stay Stay Stay". Sadly missing from this recording are the insane shouty backing vocals off their wonderous 7" from last year, but luckily the tunes are still present.

Bedford make me want to dance. "The Sound And The Fury" is one of the bounciest melodic punk rock songs I've ever had the pleasure to hear, and those Holly-esque vocals give it an added rock 'n' roll feel. If I was to try and sell this album to someone, I would play them this track. They would be hooked. "Stay Stay Stay" is utterly incredible, bursting with spirit and enthusiasm and the best hand claps ever submitted to record. Then there is the pure exuberance of the rock'n'rolling "American Music" (which appears to be a cover), and the final song "Sleeping With My Friends", Other tracks, such as "Those Kneepads" would have me scream out that they are influenced by Lifetime. But poppier.

OK, so they are not without their weak points, "The Last Song" is a bit of a go-nowhere effort, but normally they are on top of the game. Throw in the never ending stream of odd samples, including a couple of inspired Dr. Who / Daleks efforts, and some of my favourite open & personal lyrics since the Get Up Kids, plus 3 songs with titles that are to do with computers, and Bedford should appeal to every punk rock loser in the world.

Mark your cards, Bedford are the kings of nerdcore. They make you want to dance about and sing like Buddy Holly. Ooo woo.

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