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2023 Albums Thing 201 - Jim Bob “Pop Up”

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As you are all no doubt aware Jim Bob is the former sing-ist with 90’s Indie heroes Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine. Since that band’s demise he’s made a number of excellent solo records including “School” (featuring the utterly wonderful “Mrs Fucking MacMurphy (Teaches Food Technology)” yes, it’s every bit as good as its title suggests) and “Goffam”. 

In November and December of 2019 I was out on tour with The Wonder Stuff as part of their road crew and Jim Bob was the opening act on almost all of those dates. This was the album he was recording at that time which was released in the summer of 2020. I ordered it in advance and boy oh boy did we get our moneys worth ! The LP in a beautifully designed gatefold sleeve featuring illustrations of JB as an astronaut, pirate, doctor and deep sea diver. On the labels were two other images of him as a priest and a judge. Also included was a 2021 JimBob calendar with more images of him in other occupations like postman, a signed postcard and initially a bonus CD entitled “Pop Up Covers” with versions of songs by The Clash, Elvis Costello, X-Ray Spex and others…phew, was that enough bang for your buck.

Musically it’s what my many friends who are slightly fanatical about Carter/JimBob would expect, New Wave/Indie Rock delivered in slightly world weary, sardonic manner with some clever lyrics. There’s nothing to match “Sherriff Fatman” or ““Mrs Fucking MacMurphy…” (honestly if you’ve never heard it go find it, it’s a treat), in fact the stand out song for me is the very first one “Jo's Got Papercuts”, a song about the little things in life that can become big problems, it has a little of a Glam Rick feel about it which for me makes it a not unpleasant listen.

I really didn’t want to say anything negative about this record as it reminds me of a great time spent touring with Jim Bob and his manager Mark, two really genuine and talented people, BUT…it’s another one of those bloody terrible modern pressings. Unless you are playing this album on a tank of a Technics 1210 with a lot of weight on the arm (which is doing the record itself no favours) Side 2 is unplayable as it jumps and skips all the way through. A pox on modern pressing plants.

Jo's Got Papercuts - https://youtu.be/OqRWb9JQW_0?si=w3NbqA_n2eZns2sW

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