Bis – Slight Disconnects
- Nicola Meighan
- 11 February 2019
Trio's first album since 2001 sounds as fresh and as fired-up as ever
The brilliant and invincible Bis have blazed a feminista disco-punk trail for 25 years, but they still sound as fresh and as fired-up as ever. Slight Disconnects is the trio's first album of exclusively new material since 2001's Return to Central, and sees our noise-pop superheroes revisit familiar motifs while driving ever-forward. Vampires ('Dracula, You Broke My Heart'), rebel soul ('I Wanna Go Out With Someone Else'), and the high-school curriculum ('Home Economics') all feature on a record that's brimming with glorious tech-punk, skewed melodic rock and (social) dancefloor chanting. Disco is at the heart of the album's title – and Bis' sound – as ever.
Manda Rin, Sci-Fi Steven and John Disco first bounded into our consciousness, and onto our TV screens, in the mid-90s – a vital force on Glasgow's DIY scene alongside Mogwai, Arab Strap, Lungleg, pre-Franz Ferdinand incarnations the Karelia / The Yummy Fur, and the Delgados (the latter of whom released Bis' Secret Vampire Soundtrack EP via their Chemikal Underground imprint). They became the stuff of indie legend after the Secret Vampire's 'Kandy Pop' bagged the teenage livewires a slot on Top of the Pops, and a chart hit into the bargain. Tours with Foo Fighters, Pavement and fellow riot-grrrls Bikini Kill followed, as did a stint on the Beastie Boys' Grand Royal label, a sideline in soundtracking (The Powerpuff Girls) and a reinvention, of sorts, as the Pere Ubu-recalling Datapanik.
The trio have since returned to their Bis roots (or de-evolved, as their heroes Devo would have it), playing consistently thrilling live shows, and now unleashing an album loaded with ace restless serenades ('Sound of a Heartbreak'), dizzying, day-glo electro-gospel ('There Is No Point (Other Than The Point That There Is No Point)'), and anthemic guitar-pop ('Combination Rock'). Bis, don't let the music stop.
Out Fri 15 Feb on Last Night From Glasgow.