The June Brides were a typical example of the way the British music media builds something up only to knock them down just as they are about to reach their pinnacle.
Initially regarded as one of the most inventive guitar thrusting troupes of the early 1980s along with The Smiths, a clutch of lavishly praised singles ('In The Rain', 'Every Conversation', 'No Place Called Home') followed suit and the band were immediately thrown in as part of the now infamous "C86" scene. And ultimately derided as being "too twee". Sadly, in July 1986, the band had enough of the music industry and sadly called it a day, but with the aforementioned three singles and one album ('There are Eight Million Stories') left a legacy that has lived on for two decades, subsequently influencing a number of artists who themselves could be described as being inspirational in their own right.
Led by the inimitable songwriting talent of Phil Wilson, The June Brides actually took the post-punk blueprint of Orange Juice one step further and mixed it with the sarcastic lyrical wit of The Smiths, sounding unlike anyone else from that era but without any shadow of a doubt laying the foundations for people like Belle And Sebastian to take the bedroom-indie sound into chartered, commercially successful territories.
'Still Unravished' contains 16 recordings gathered from the June Brides all-too-brief archives, with the most notable contibution being that of the Manic Street Preachers' interpretation of 'The Instrumental', the opening track from the Brides' one and only album. Sticking pretty much to the Manics' current skewered pop formula, it reveals the band's current direction may actually have more to do with their past inclination than many may have previously been led to believe. The Jasmine Minks also offer a rendition of the same track which sticks pretty closely to the original, offering something of a mix and match approach to the variance in styles between most of the artists on this compilation.
Elsewhere, The Projects give 'Heard You Whisper' a more tumultuous garage-pop makeover while Bunnygrunt make 'We Belong' sound like the sweetest toothache in full-on stereo. Add the underrated genius of Jeffrey Lewis, understated Gedgisms of Tompaulin and contributions by original scenesters The Legend! and the Television Personalities and you have a mighty fine assortment combined to pay a wholesome, worthy tribute to its subjects. Or you could just log onto eBay and try to beg, steal or borrow a copy of the posthumous compilation 'For Better Or Worse' and fully appreciate what the merits of The June Brides first hand. The choice, as they say, is all yours...
7Dom Gourlay's Score