Being from Scotland is kinda cool in the ever-moving world of independent music but being from Scotland and making honey-coated pop like the Eighties never ended, is surely the coolest demographic of all. And that's where Bis come in. Throw together a careful concoction of sassy disco-drums, and poppy synth-sounds, garnish with a knowledgeable ability to write bloody good tunes, and all of a sudden you're the most catchy, loveable, soulful pop band since the Beatles.
In fact, think Beatles meets Eighties Madonna and you may just be prepared for the cuddly, saccharine assault that is 'Social Dancing'. Beginning on a pogo-friendly run of vibrant, energetic pop that quickly leads into 'Eurodisco' and 'Action And Drama' (the first two singles), the LP looks destined to stay in-your-face for its duration. Not an entirely unpleasant prospect, but things quiet down (slightly) when hints of Portishead ('Sale Or Return') and even Garbage ('Detour') take the mood a little away from the day-glo, hip-swinging pop of the first few tracks. And 'Am I Loud Enough', a self-defending rant that rocks loudly rather than exudes charm, is a more reflective attempt than the classic pop that characterises Bis.
Anyway, coming across like a boldly-drawn cartoon converted to music, 'Social Dancing' is groundbreaking in its assumed triviality. Laid back, sussed music for fun-loving individuals: you'd have to try to dislike it.
by Michael Gleeson.