Bomb Pops Recommended For Diversion Seekers

Years before Belle & Sebastian coaxed chronic sensitivity out of its bedroom into the glare of the world, dozens of similarly great bands toiled in the sort of hopeless anonymity our beloved Scottish softies claim to so badly want. Minneapolis trio, the Bomb Pops, spent the early ‘90s releasing a handful of singles into the void of indie-pop’s crumbling fanzine culture, a sphere of reference so miniaturised that the likes of Heavenly were considered superstars. They deserved better, as this CD epitaph attests. A compilation of almost all of their recordings, Recommended For Diversion Seekers would be a winning pop album in any year, feeling less like a collection of scattershot projects than a fully-realised whole. The Bomb Pops’ Rick Durgin sang the suburban blues more affectingly than any American songwriter of the time, after Dean Wareham’s abdication into Manhattan. “Girl Daredevil,” in particular, is one the decade’s great unsung independent singles (owing primarily to the fact that it was only released in Germany) — unrequited love and the malaise of young adulthood married to a gorgeous, chiming melody, like Galaxie 500 attempting the Go-Betweens’ “Streets Of Your Town.” The fantastic “Moving Day Song” proves how far above the shambling amateurism of their peers the Bomb Pops were. When bassist Andrea Troolin’s airy coo shows up to cast comfort on Durgin’s uncertainty, their claim that “Minneapolis is but a dream/but we knew that already” renders a local concern a universal pleasure. Much like everything here. (Grimsey)