The story of the Bevis Frond commenced with a motorcycle accident that allowed guitarist/songwriter Nick Saloman the time and money to buy some recording gear and start cranking out albums of wonderfully weird and tuneful psychedelic music. Beginning in 1986, right up until the current day, seeing the name Bevis Frond on the sleeve means you're about to hear something guitar-heavy, hooky, and eccentric. In 2014 the Cherry Red label launched a new series of Frond reissues with a 16-track collection of songs from BF Records released between 1987 and 1990 on the Miasma, Inner Marshland, Bevis Through the Looking Glass, Triptych, Any Gas Faster, and New River Head albums. During this time Saloman alternated between long, twisting guitar freakouts and relatively concise, jangling psych pop; this set gathers up many of his best examples of the latter with only a couple of longer tracks thrown in. Among the highlights are the Farfisa-led epic "She's in Love with Time," the absolutely evil-sounding acid rocker "I've Got Eyes in the Back of My Head," the very pretty folk-rocker "He'd Be a Diamond," and maybe Salomon's greatest hit, "Lights Are Changing." It sounds like the late-'60s hit the Byrds never had and sports a truly heartbreaking bridge, and the guitar solo that ends the song is absolute perfection. Add on a couple of long-form jams that show off the happily indulgent side of the band, a few acoustic ballads that delve into Nick's British folk influences, and the brilliant title track that was originally found on a rare Bucketfull of Brains flexi disc, and it makes for an excellent intro to the early work of the Bevis Frond. One listen just might have you setting aside money to buy all the reissues once Cherry Red starts rolling them out.
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AllMusic Review by Tim Sendra