The Soft Boys - Underwater Moonlight - Review
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critics' view

The second long-player from the 4-year-old Cambridge band arrived in June ’80, at which time they lined up: Robyn Hitchcock (27, guitar, vocals); Kimberley Rew (28, guitar); Matthew Seligman (bass) and Morris Windsor (drums). Their brand of cerebral pop incorporated elements of folk rock, psychedelia and proto-punk, with results which were extremely pleasing to the ear. There’s a good-time jangle on the surface, paradoxically offset with darkly humorous lyrical themes of sex, death, hideous creatures and general paranoia. Amongst the many highlights are the fantastic solid-backbeat opener “I Wanna Destroy You” and “Insanely Jealous” which has me proclaiming “I can’t believe it’s not Howard Devoto”. As does “Old Pervert” on side two, a real low-down dirty blues rocker about a proper wrong ‘un who may well be deranged. I dread to think what might be in his fridge. If that’s a bit Ian Brady, it’s a case of out of the darkness into the light as the glorious “Queen Of Eyes” transports you firmly back into a brighter mid-60s world inhabited by The Monkees, The Hollies, The Byrds et al. There’s never a dull moment on this album.

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