• Bobs
  • The Bobs EP (Safety Net) 1983 
  • White Gazebo (Safety Net) 1984 

This Ft. Lauderdale trio (not to be confused with the San Francisco a cappella group of the same name) led by future Silos co-founder Bob Rupe plays quirky, satiric music with an edge, steeping their hard pop in reggae and funk, occasionally interrupting it with a distorto-guitar solo. If the Bobs weren’t as engagingly clever as some of their TV-culture-commentary peers, at least they were occasionally louder.

The crucial tracks on the sprightly six-song 12-inch debut (recorded in 1981 by Rupe and two other guys named Bob) are “Sneaking T.V.” and “Sounds of People” (eating). Working with a different drummer and guitarist (neither of whom is named Bob), bassist/singer Rupe finds fewer original avenues for the band’s satire on White Gazebo, a more accomplished seven-songer that has better tunes and such accents as pedal steel (on “The Beer Tune,” an ingenuous country lament from the lighter side of the roots movement).

[John Leland / Ira Robbins]