Album review: JOCASTA – Ideas Are Bulletproof

JOCASTA - Ideas Are Bulletproof

TA Music [Release date 20.03.20]

Tim Arnold now has multiple roles as singer, songwriter, showman, composer, multi-instrumentalist and producer. But Arnold’s first musical incarnation was as lead singer and songwriter of the 90’s indie rock band Jocasta.

‘Ideas Are Bulletproof’ is a collection of Jocasta B-Sides and demos that are available for the first time since 1997. Jocasta only released one album (‘No Coincidence’ on Sony in 1997), however the band also released half a dozen singles through Sony that were each backed with 2 or 3 B-sides. Most of the recordings were produced by the band with Radiohead’s long-standing sound engineer Jim Warren (Arcade Fire, Crowded House). Joining Arnold were drummer Adrian Meehan, bassist Andy Lewis and lead guitarist Jack Reynolds.

Tim says: “In the 90s, B-sides were the chance to really experiment. There was none of the pressure that the record label would put you under for singles and albums.  Whenever we went to record B-sides, it felt like we were being set free from the label.  It was a chance to express ourselves in the way we did before we were signed.”

The sheer depth of music on here is a marvel, be it be a bit of the Pixies on ‘Relativity’ with its spacey feel, or the jangly indie rock of ‘Portion Of My Heart’ and ‘The Land Of Do As You Please’ get your feet dancing. Other highlights include ‘Swings And Roundabouts’ and ‘Don’t Know When To Stop’, both of which would have been all over the radio if given a chance back in the 90’s Brit Pop era.

For fans of the band this is a ‘must have’ and anyone with an interest in 90’s indie rock. A fascinating insight to the early song writing of Tim Arnold. ***1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie

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