Songs For The Unsung: Jim Bob – ‘Who Do We Hate Today’

❉ We review the latest album from the artist formerly known as ‘Jim Bob from Carter USM’.

Who Do We Hate Today? was recorded by Jim Bob in a local studio during lockdown and gives a series of vignettes and snapshots of what has been happening in his world and the world at large in  the last several months. Reflecting empty streets, mad social media comments from “old rock stars from the 1990’s” and toxic masculinity, the album includes the trademark samples, witty lyrics and programmed synthesiser backing Carter fans were used to.”

Jim Bob (James Robert Morrison), with his former musical partner Les “Fruitbat”, released some great albums in the early ‘90s as Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine (101 Damnations, 30 Something, 1992 – the Love album). Formed after the break-up of their previous  group Jamie Wednesday (who inadvertently spawned the concept “pop will eat itself” after David Quantick coined the phrase when interviewing them in 1986), Carter USM ploughed the ‘two guitars and a drum machine’ route. Described by late music journalist Steven Wells as “gobshite DIY bedroom pop” their live sets (introduced by the late Jon Beast) were exciting and chaotic, their songs were catchy, their lyrics were insightful and they did (arguably) the best cover of a Pet Shop Boys song ever!

Who Do We Hate Today?, the latest solo album from Jim Bob has a very ”let’s comment on COVID” feel about it but does it superbly.  It’s not a COVID concept album – who needs that for god’s sake! – but it may be a bit more of a “horrors around COVID” album, and it comes out 20 August, almost exactly a year after last August’s Pop Up Jim Bob.

Who Do We Hate Today? was recorded by Jim Bob in a local studio during lockdown and gives a series of vignettes and snapshots of what has been happening in his world and the world at large in  the last several months. Reflecting empty streets, mad social media comments from “old rock stars from the 1990’s” and toxic masculinity, the album includes the trademark samples, witty lyrics and programmed synthesiser backing Carter fans were used to.

Stand out tracks include The Summer Of No Touching – written during the first lockdown when the streets were empty, you could see the stars in the inner city and Jim Bob “pretended I was Cillian Murphy” in 28 Days After!

Sheena Is Dating A Drunk Woman Hating Neanderthal Man is almost a glam rock stomper. The excellent Karen (Is Thinking Of Changing Her Name) has a catchy chorus and witty lyrics.  Where’s The Backdoor, Steve imagines the world as a computer system ( in desperate need of a reboot and reset) over a krautrock drum machine backing track.

#prayfortony even has some classical strings on it telling the story of an unappealing character who “hates black history month” and “did Movember once” and who “killed a dog when he was young.”

The brilliant Song For The Unsung… is a more optimistic anthem for these times offering a more optimistic view of human nature.

With two strong albums in twelve months, there will be many people looking forward to seeing Jim Bob tour with this new material later in the year.


❉ Jim Bob: ‘Who Do We Hate Today’ (Cherry Red Records CDBRED850) released August 20 2021, RRP £10.95.

 James Collingwood is based in West Yorkshire and has been writing for a number of years. He currently also writes for the Bradford Review magazine for which he has conducted more than 30 interviews and has covered music, film and theatre.

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