Set the Stupid Free
When Bob Collum released his last album 'The Boy Most Likely To..' in '04 one reviewer remarked that this is what the pop charts in heaven must sound like. The pleasures of the afterlife becomes more attainable with the release of it's follow up, 'Set The Stupid Free', in January 2008..and you don't even have to die for the privilege! Having released two albums stateside (1997's 'More Tragic Songs of Life' and 2000's 'Low Rent Romeo'), at the turn of the millennium Bob waved a fond farewell to his Tulsa Oklahoma abode, and exiled himself in South Essex, conveniently on the fringes of the capital and the underground Americana music scene. He then set about commandeering the tight rhythm section he could find in Dan Wilkinson (Bass) and Paul Quarry (Drums) to give his new songs the tougher propulsive edge they demanded. The Welfare Mothers were born and through gigging extensively, began to build a following both around and outside the UK. After a few cracked-hearts, snapped guitar strings & many memorable live shows along the way, we find ourselves in 2008.....'Set The Stupid Free' opens with one of those attention-grabbing simple statements of intent, and a brief invitation to what follows. A simple guitar crash, understating the bands Who-like comprehension of exciting rock dynamics, before being swiftly seduced by the playful crying steel guitar (provided by the legendary BJ Cole), and a melodic, Byrds-ian country-edged soul, so central to Bob & the Mothers sound. Elsewhere on this emancipation ride, the breadth of Bob's song-writing and the band's reach takes in earthy rock grooves (Virgina Mystery), intimate yet universal confessionals (Katie I Agree) and a hypnotic musing on the likelihood of second-coming quitting all that sanctity lark and setting up a mobile karaoke unit (Disco Jesus). Ultimately, 'Set The Stupid Free' marks a turning point, where a promising talented band steps up to command attention. Inviting, compelling you to sign up for the cause.