By James Glynn
With 11 selected recordings posted on his Soundcloud page to date, Bob has embraced his musical diversity with an eclectic mix of styles and genres ranging from indie to electro, pop to hard rock. Evidently drawing inspiration from some of the pioneering genres of the late 70′s and 80s – most notably post-punk, electronic, indie, and progressive – the recordings almost make you feel like you’ve been transported to a new era.
It is the balance Bob strikes between the retro and the modern however that manages to keep the tunes sounding fresh amid some interesting musical experimentation. The most recent track, ‘Let It Go‘ for instance, is diametrically opposed to the upbeat pop cadences of the single ‘Home‘ with its heavy-hitting rock riff’s akin of blues derivative metal bands like Queens of the Stone Age, while ‘Drone (Happiness Awaits)‘ takes another turn with a distorted almost psychedelic sound.
Bob returns to his punk roots of his former band Betamax, with frenetic, highly accelerated tracks like the 80 second ‘Another Life‘ and ‘Turn the Tide‘, while actively embracing post-punk conventions in the noticeably more down-beat, bass-heavy ‘Unselected‘ and the dark ballad ‘Seasons‘. Not content to finish there however, Bob lightens the mood with pace-changing upbeat indie tunes like ‘I’m Fine Now‘ and ‘1976‘ and the instrumental ‘Nurse‘, a track brilliantly complemented by a deliciously rhythmic Spanish guitar sample, before nicely rounding things off with the enjoyably stripped-back acoustic number ‘Unfortunate But True‘.
A supremely eclectic and always surprising mix of musical styles echoing many genre pioneers of the last 30-40 years including The Smiths, Joy Division, The Human League and The Jam, All Things Bob’s penchant to try something new at every given opportunity is highly commendable in a lacklustre modern musical industry, while his energetic delivery and adventurous style always ensures he gets the best out of his source material. Bob’s next challenge however, is to stand above his vast musical talents and define himself as an original artist with a distinctive musical style that will set him apart from his contemporaries.
In addition to this, some fairly significant editing work must be carried out on the entirety of his profile recordings before they can be compiled as a finished feature length album of discernible substance and composition with definitive stylistic and thematic direction. Some fine-tuning apart however, there is no doubting the significant intrigue and excitement generated by a new artist with a uniquely bold approach like All Things Bob, a name we will surely be hearing much more of in 2013 and beyond.