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My Chain

BMX Bandits

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Album Review

The BMX Bandits took a long break between the release of My Chain and 1996's Theme Park. You figure in that time Duglas Stewart might have taken voice lessons, grown up or changed musical direction a degree or two. Thankfully, none of those things have occurred. His voice is still a wheezy adolescent warble, he still gives the feel of an eternal teenager obsessed with silly jokes and the small details of love and life, and he still loves the Beach Boys, soft rock and jangling guitar pop and uses these influences very well. In other words just what fans of the BMX'ers have been missing for the last decade. There aren't many bands who get the balance of cute lyrics with dead serious ones, plinky keyboards and cheesy drum machines with fully strummed guitars and lush guitars or cringingly personal observations and laugh out loud funny jokes, as right as Stewart and his friends do. Certainly not many records have a sweet as syrup soft rock love song like "Something About Us" on the same record as "A Missing Front Tooth," a goofy pseudo-shanty that builds to a dumb joke about wayward girlfriends, pirates and the "plank." The whole record alternates between these extremes of camp and damp, as in what your hankie will be after crying into it after "Not Knowing You" or "The Sailor's Song." It makes for an interesting and satisfying indie pop experience. The arrival of My Chain also serves as a reminder that the next BMX record needs to happen much sooner that 2016.


Formed: 1985 in Scotland

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

A leading light of the short-lived C-86/anorak movement of the mid-'80s, the BMX Bandits stood at the epicenter of the Scottish pop music scene for over a decade; however, despite helping launch the careers of talents ranging from Teenage Fanclub and Eugenius to the Soup Dragons and Superstar, the group itself never grew beyond the confines of a fervent cult following. They were essentially the vehicle of singer/guitarist Duglas T. Stewart, a Bellshill native and onetime member of the Pretty Flowers;...
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My Chain, BMX Bandits
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