Bis, intendo (Grand Royal)
Bis have sort of led a lo-fi, diy movement in the UK over the past few years. They were the first unsigned band ever to appear on Top of the Pops. Descriptions of them tend to give the impression that they use a everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach and aren’t very artful in their playing. Granted, I don’t know what their earliest singles sounded like, but intendo shows a skilled band with some nice songs.
The diy label serves them well. Intendo has a very personal feel to it. Some tracks are actually demo’s though nothing ever gets as lo-fi as Sebadoh’s first releases. The guitars are well played and well recorded. Lite keyboards float in to give a spacey feel to their poppier songs.
The strangest thing about bis is that, like the British music press, they seem to identify lo-fi with ‘American’ hence we hear a lot of American accents (quite weird for Glaswegians) and songs about ‘high school.’ (if you want to hear a Glaswegian accent, the last track ‘cookie cutter kid’ gives a pretty good example.)
Bis paste punk rock and old drum machines and keyboards all together in their songs. But they never take themselves too seriously which is nice and makes the whole album more enjoyable. ‘Statement of Intent,’ the first song on the album, is so (for lack of a better term) cool. Anthemic and fun. And ‘Famous’ with it’s drum loop, moogs, and bubbly guitar is enjoyable from aqua-barbie-girl start to ‘la-la-la’ chant (with kazoos) to ‘do-do-do’ end. Listen to it all day in the summer.