The Disco Students

I Beg to Differ

by Evan Sawdey

12 December 2006

 

When’s the last time you picked up a double-disc CD retrospective of a band that’s been around for a quarter of a century and you haven’t heard a single song from?  Well, this is gonna be your first.  The Disco Students is a band that, in many ways, is an awesome Joy Division knockoff with absolutely none of the budget.  The band has long since been plagued with problems that would make VH1’s Behind the Music shame itself, but long-suffering leader Simon Cheetham has prevailed for 28 years, making songs with great titles and a sense of danceable fun despite budget limitations.  The Disc 2 electro experiments wear thin after a while, but the gems all lie in Disc 1—prime-era Students where the Joy Division influence was so great they named one song “Love Will Blow Up in Your Face”.  Sure, you can argue that some songs, like “A Boy with a Perchant for Open Neck Shirts”, wear thin (and it does, especially with Cheetham’s never-there voice), but the gems are just as numerous, like tuning into some great lost radio station run by Ariel Pink.  It’s not perfect, it’s sloppy and sometimes a strain, but never before has a double-disc retrospective release been so warranted.  Ladies and gentlemen: the best band you’ve never heard.

I Beg to Differ

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