Kimberley Rew

The Bible of Bop

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After the breakup of the Soft Boys, Kimberley Rew was clearly eager to keep himself busy and show off the songwriting chops that had taken a back seat to Robyn Hitchcock's estimable gifts during the band's run. The 1982 EP The Bible of Bop offered a concise look into what Rew was doing in the wake of the Soft Boys' collapse; compiled from single sides, it featured three Soft Boys tracks with Rew singing lead and writing the tunes, while three other songs found him backed by the dB's (not long after they went through their own personnel troubles -- Chris Stamey was out of the band, Gene Holder opted to serve as producer, and their pal and sometime roadie Mitch Easter took over as bassist) and two numbers were early efforts from the band that became Rew's next full-time project, the Waves. With Rew taking the lead, the selections with the Soft Boys have a noticeably different feel from what they wrought on Underwater Moonlight, but the band sounds every bit as bracing as it did on that album, and as always the guitar interplay between Rew and Hitchcock is splendid and "Stomping All Over the World," "Nothing's Going to Change," and "Fighting Someone's War" are clever and engaging pop tunes. The energetic Dixie-fried pop style of the dB's is very much audible on "My Baby Does Her Hairdo Long," "Walking in the Dew," and "Fishing," but they make a good match for Rew's talents in the studio and bring a welcome spark to the material. And "Nightmare" and "Hey, War Pig!" didn't offer much of a clue as to what the Waves would be doing a few years down the line, but it's clear they were a solid and sympathetic backing band that worked well with Rew and rocked with style and enthusiasm. Rew unfortunately has often stood in the shadow of his lead singers, and The Bible of Bop reveals he's always had the talent and the charisma to be up front, shining bright while working with three teams of gifted musicians.

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