released November 25, 2016
Bron Area were a short-lived post-punk group that emerged from the Nuneaton, England music scene along with Eyeless in Gaza and the Reluctant Stereotypes. The band formed in 1979 and originally consisted of bassist Martin Packwood and keyboard player Steven Parker, who both sang. Their songs were brief, primitive, and gloomy, but with a few hopeful moments of lovestruck wonder and positivity, such as the encouraging "You'd Be Amazed." Guitarist Alain Royer joined the group, and their sound became slightly more aggressive and angular. The early days of the group were chronicled on One Year, a cassette released by Ambivalent Scale Recordings in 1980. Near the end of that year, Parker and Packwood recorded an EP titled Fragile Sentences, which expanded on the aggressive, lo-fi sound of their cassette. After appearing on an obscure tape compilation titled Facet I on Alternative Sounds Tapes, they were invited to appear on a compilation released by Glass Records. The Wonderful World of Glass, Vol. 1 (1981) contained a new recording of the slightly retitled "You Would Be Amazed," along with songs by the Legendary Pink Dots, Marine Girls, and Eyeless in Gaza's Martyn Bates.
Bron Area were signed to Glass Records at the beginning of 1982, and their first release for the label was a 12" EP titled Different Phrases, which continued in the more upbeat style of "You Would Be Amazed" (also included on the EP), and featured drummer Christopher Dunne and saxophone player Steven Bialik. The EP was subsequently released as a 7" by American label Posh Boy Records. The group spent much of the year recording its debut LP, The Trees and the Villages, which was released by Glass Records in 1983. The album was much more reserved and atmospheric than previous recordings, returning to the gloomy sound of the band's earliest recordings but with much more focus and ambition. Bron Area split shortly after the album's release, but both founding members continued to make music. Parker contributed to a few cassette compilations and collaborated with Kevin Harrison, and Packwood played bass guitar on Bates' 1987 LP The Return of the Quiet.
In 2015, Glass Records was resurrected as Glass Records Redux, and a CD reissue of The Trees and the Villages, containing two bonus tracks, was released in July of 2016. It's available from here: