Oxford's The Bigger The God have laboured to make headway in the UK market after some encouraging early press. Thankfully the quartet of David Cowles-Hamar (vocals), Ellis James (guitar), Andy Smith (bass) and Steve Brownsill (drums) have persevered, despite operating increasingly at the margins of the record industry. The upside is that this has allowed them more creative freedom than those with record companies standing over them. After a quietly impressive start with Variety (1996) and attendant singles "Mum Steals Boyfriend" and "Miss Pritchard," the group moved on from their edgy, satirical pop to produce 1999's better realised though obtusely named . . . and the Ugly. They remain unlikely to win over the British 'inkies' at this stage in their career, particularly since they've abandoned most of their original pop elements. However, TBTG have managed to leave behind one of the best albums produced in Oxford in the 90s. And when you consider the competition - [Ride's] Nowhere, [Supergrass's] In It for the Money and [Radiohead's] The Bends and OK Computer, - that adds up to a weighty testimonial.
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