Apb

Something to Believe In/BBC Radio 1 Sessions (Young American)

It's easier to dance without Foucault looming over your shoulder. If only the bands of the recent dance-punk scare had reached for Scottish funk-pop boys Apb rather than Leeds theoreticians Gang of Four, they might have grasped something. Not that Apb have much on Gang of Four except guilelessness, but as shown by this dual release (one a collection of the band's early '80s singles, the other its BBC recordings), limited ambition can be a good thing. Apb were not sneaky intellectuals, but an optimistic pop band with a bass fixation on Bootsy Collins, guitar indebted to both funk and punk and words devoted to love and self-reliance. It all works best on "Help Yourself," an addictive DIY anthem, and on the singles collection's title track, a tune so simply idealistic, it's a wonder it came out of the venal Britain of the early '80s. Something to Believe In does contain a few studio excesses, inoculated by the nude production on BBC Radio 1 Sessions, eight of whose nineteen tracks were recorded by the late John Peel. Sometimes, you'd rather be told to "Get back to your dreams" than induced to deconstruct the contents of your living room.

 
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