As much as the 1980s (and the soundtrack to much of my pre-teenhood) were overflowing with bands from Manchester that made it big -- The Chameleons, Charlatans, Happy Mondays, New Order, The Stone Roses, and so on -- there were, as there always will be, plenty of bands that never quite made the leap to MTV’s 120 Minutes and international stardom. Yargo, despite the joyous adulation with which their album Bodybeat was received by KCMU DJs and, one must assume, discerning music heads around the world, was one of these bands.
Maybe the fact that the second song on this album is almost 12 minutes long didn’t really help them, but there’s still plenty hear to grab onto and groove with. As I listen through, I think their problem might have been one of sequencing; the album starts off a bit sleepily, only really kicking into a driving groove on side 2, with “Help.” The rest has a lot of merit -- somewhere between Talk Talk and Talking Heads, with a side of Marvin Gaye -- but doesn’t have the instant attention-grabbing quality of some of the best stuff from Charlatans, Stone Roses, et al. With a little clever Googling, you can listen and judge for yourself.
“Intriguing cross of reggae-funk/highlife/rock. Sparse but effective. Grows on you.”
“SWEATY, SWINGIN and SOULFUL. P.S. What’s all this ‘Moss Side‘ business?”
“... and jazzy too”
“NNTNBT [there it is again] 4/18″
“Beautiful - H?”
“2, 3 sounds like Sting! [This being 1987, I won't hold that against them.]”
“If I play this, can it count as a jazz cut and a reggae cut at the same time?? I gotta like it!!”
“Very neat stuff, could be an H album if you ask me!”
“Yeah! I’m diggin’ this too.”