In 1995, a Manchester band called Sub Sub lost everything in a studio fire. The group had a club-friendly hit in "Ain't No Love (Ain't No Use)" and had teamed up with Tricky and New Order frontman Bernard Sumner to create the trippy tunes so popular on the Mancunian rave scene. But, never completely happy in their roles as techno-pop ambassadors, the boys of Sub Sub became even more disillusioned after the fire. The music became more complex, haunting, and orchestral. Sub Sub became the Doves.
The group garnered praise on both sides of the Atlantic with its 2002 LP The Last Broadcast, a haunting masterpiece. And just recently, London-based Heavenly Recordings released Lost Sides, a two-disc compilation of Doves B-sides and remixes. The first disc is a collection of rarities; the second, remixes of songs from The Last Broadcast. The tracks, overhauled by such talents as Magnet and Four Tet, sound lovely, but ultimately feel superfluous. With the exception of Echoboy's stellar rendition of "Words," the original tracks still stand as the best and truest interpretations of themselves. In other words: If it ain't broke, don't remix it.
The disc of B-sides and rarities, on the other hand, is singularly excellent. Only three tracks were previously unreleased, but even the more familiar B-sides achieve new life when played among rarities. Bassist and vocalist Jimi Goodwin goes from Jagger-style playfulness on "Hit the Ground Running" to eerie, ethereal beauty on "Far From Grace." His vocal talent, backed by the drumming and guitar work of twin brothers Andy and Jez Williams, makes Doves one of the most interesting bands to come out of Manchester since Joy Division.