St. Paul, Minnesot'as True Metal Record Store (RIP as of Dec. 24, 2015)
Did you know Into the Void Records USA sells quality non-metal wares as well? And not just non-metal, as in rock music (or any of the throwback stuff Metal Blade and Nuclear Blast are so intent on these days), but darkwave, ambient, punk and post-punk, synthpop and New Wave?
Well now you do, you ignorant yob!
BFG is an intensely obscure band who made their headway in the waning days of post-punk as it degenerated in a thousand disparate and mostly unfortunate ways. They’re obscure enough that I can’t even tell you what BFG stands for — British Forces Germany is what Google tells me with a search of “BFG UK” — ironically making the band nearly as difficult to find now in our hallowed Information Age.
So, consider your work done for you, and you’re welcome: BFG (UK) Bandcamp.
The late age of the Blue LP (1989) reflects the array of influences that would have been available to construct it. Blue starts out in hard-driving, chromatic dance mode and, thankfully, shies away from that for subsequent tracks for a more subtly rhythmic, guitar-driven plod awash in ringing chords à la CHAMELEONS (and local favorites THE ROPE for that matter). The choruses tend to the dark and explosive in the vein of mid-period SISTERS OF MERCY, the same formula also followed by many EBM bands thenceforth.
The vocals show elements of both Ian Curtis and Andrew Eldritch with the histrionic crooning of both left by the wayside. In other words, they are competent, but lack “personality,” which may explain along with the fading genre why BFG never quite caught fire. The voice shouldn’t be totally discounted, however, and tends to fit better with the slow-rolling, romantic tracks (“Myth Club”) where he isn’t forced to a throaty and barren shout.
These slower tracks and select others are where the band showed their most promise. Where the monolithic throb can fall flat, BFG showcases their greatest ability to command movement with through micro-moods and tension in songs like “Pulse,” cutting through the normal monotony of verse-chorus songwriting to great effect.
Omaha, Nebraska’s vinyl stalwarts Drastic Plastic have done us the superior favor of repressing BFG’s Blue in an affordable, attractive package for those who either a) weren’t 20 years old in 1989 and living in the same town as BFG or b) are now just reading this post. Drastic Plastic also recently put out MOTORHEAD’s self-titled LP and AGENT ORANGE Living in Darkness to give you an idea of their esoteric offerings, and we thank them for it.