The Sound - Jeopardy LP
The story goes that The Sound should have been huge – as big as any number of successful post-punk outfits like The Cure or The Fall or Echo & The Bunnymen – but for reasons seem to baffle most everybody, they didn't find that success. Frontman Adrian Borland cut his teeth in the 1976 punk frenzy in a project called the Outsiders; but grew dissatisfied with the amphetamine trad-rock that punk was becoming. The Sound formed around Borland's increasingly complicated songwriting, following a similar art-punk route that Howard DeVoto took after leaving The Buzzcocks to start the equally adventurous Magazine.
Jeopardy was the first album for The Sound, whose complex pop-punk was built around Borland's nervously chiming guitars and engaging hooks that paralleled those from The Cure's mod-pop debut Three Imaginary Boys, the theatrical bellowings of Juilan Cope's The Teardrop Explodes and of course Magazine. This album was recorded roughly, supposedly for less than 800 British pounds; and the urgency (or panic) of getting everything to tape quickly works well with these songs. The Sound embellish a number of their new wave / punk tunes with glammy synthesizer melodies that harken back to Roxy Music and an occasional sax blurt for good measure; but it's Borland who passionately drives this band, one that should have been heard back then ... and right now.