In founding Swell Maps, the post-punk prefacing Birmingham art-snots, Nikki Sudden and his drumming brother Epic Soundtracks charted new territory for racket and corrosive guitar. But after folding Swell Maps at the dawn of the ’80s, Nikki Sudden plowed through another decade’s worth of terrifically fertile ground. Drawing on his devotion to the Rolling Stones and T. Rex—alongside guitarist Dave Kusworth as Jacobites, plus a cheekily named cohort of British sidemen—Nikki Sudden cut a string of raw, inspired rock ‘n’ roll records, etched with double edged travel melancholia and hard-bitten punk dejection.
Nikki Sudden’s second LP, released in 1983 by Flicknife Records, marked his first collaboration with writer/guitarist Dave Kusworth, the alliance destined to bring Jacobites to record buying publics on both Atlantic coasts. On The Bible Belt, a diverse clutch of Sudden songs stands in rock reverence to Sudden saints, from Bowie slink and Dylanesque strum to the mandolin post-punk of “Missionary Boy.”
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