Bona Dish were a short-lived four-piece from Hertfordshire, UK, releasing music at, arguably, the height of the UK DIY-era. The story of Bona Dish is as follows: two best mates (Steve and Bill) in art school -- of course -- wanted to start a band and, thus, recruited their girlfriends (Jo and Julie) of the time. During the span of 1981 to 1982, the band released two cassettes to some attention ("Actress" was played on John Peel's radio show in '81) before going four separate ways.
What's special about Bona Dish is that this group of pretty fashionable kids actually had a knack for writing some clever, catchy tracks -- they looked very, very cool and
had raw talent, the whole package. With scrappy, melodic bass lines by Julie, angular, scratchy, metallic guitars provided by Steve and vocals mostly by Jo, songs like "8 AM" and "Normal Day" sound like instant DIY classics to my ears. There's a perfect sense of song economy, yet some great pop sensibilities lurk underneath the band's new wave/post-punk edges. The music is simple and fragile; the group sounds like it could fall apart at any second, but they don't; this rare tension adds a little complexity to their songs along with a whole lot of appeal. I have no reservations comparing Bona Dish to the likes of Delta 5, Dolly Mixture, Marine Girls and Kleenex/Liliput and, to me, that's some of the highest praise I can give to a record. This is a real surprise gem from Brooklyn's Captured Tracks. Both cassettes are compiled in full, remastered and now on vinyl for the first time; do yourself a favor and pick this one up.
-Pamela Garavano-Coolbaugh (April 3, 2013)