The influential and ever underrated Glasgow, Scotland trio, bis, return with data Panik etcetera – a release that brings us up to date with recordings from the year spent re-branded as Data Panik, alongside other attempts to record a fourth, and definitive, bis album. Hardcore fans have been desperate to get their hands on these recordings, and the band have carefully selected and remastered the pick of the bunch. The band have been playing storming live sets over the last few years, surprising punters at places such as Primavera and 2013’s Indietracks Festival as headliner, while new material has crept into the set-list.
Manda Rin, Sci-Fi Steven and John Disco, to give them their professional monikers, were known in the late 1990’s for such highlights as being the first unsigned band on Top Of The Pops (allegedly), creating the theme tune to the Hanna-Barbera cartoon “The Powerpuff Girls”, having their own Casio G-Shock watch released in Japan and moving from their punk-rock roots to having an underground European dance hit with “Eurodisco”. Taking influences from Devo, XTC, Huggy Bear, Bikini Kill and The Plastics, bis have also inspired others for 20 years now – being a reference point for a host of artists such as CSS, Los Campesinos!, Joanna Gruesome and Chvrches. The band also featured in NME’s list of Top 20 Cult Heroes and featured in their Top 50 Britpop anthems. Albums, The New Transistor Heroes (under-fi pop/punk songs with twitches into disco, hip-hop and synth-pop), Social Dancing (Glossy electro-pop) and Return To Central (an expansive rebirth, taking in Eno, Moroder and Can) showcased the over-development of their creators, always keen to move onto the next project.
With data Panik etcetera the inspirations had moved onto strict, skinny-tie, new-wave pop songs (‘Control The Radical’, ‘Minimum Wage’, ‘Retail of the Details’), awkward XTC play Chic disco (‘Cubis (I Love You)’, ‘Music Lovers’, ‘Too Much Not Enough)’ and disconcerting goth-techno (‘Sense Not Sense’, ‘Flesh Remover’). ‘Rulers and the States’, meanwhile, has already featured heavily on a Scottish Television advert with its nagging Sparksy riff