Wake Up Boo! wasn’t the only, or indeed first, Boo Radleys song to find the band giving themselves a name-check. In 1992 they put their name to a whole EP, which I found pretty funny at the time, especially as it meant that the Boo! Forever EP wasn’t even named after its A-side, Does This Hurt?.
Kicking off side two of The Boo Radleys fantastic 1992 album Everything’s Alright Forever, Does This Hurt? is the apogee of the Boos’ sound at this early stage of their career: really very tuneful and melodic at its core, but with layer upon layer of guitars, guitars and more guitars in varying degrees of fuzziness. (Check out the final third of Smiles Fade Fast for another great example of what I mean).
Over the top, and contrary to what most of their contemporaries were doing with the vocals, lead singer Sice is given all the room he needs to deliver, in his own fragile way, a crystal clear lyric. Martin Carr was already starting to gather a vast collection of influences, and had never intended The Boo Radleys to be anything resembling a straight up shoegazing band. By the time of their next album, the many-garlanded and impressively wide-ranging Giant Steps this eclecticism would start to bear fruit.
By the way…
Boo! Forever wasn’t the first Boos song to get the self-naming treatment: that honour falls to Boo! Faith, a cunningly renamed cover version of a New Order classic, recorded for a Peel session, and given the full Boo Radleys guitar-fuzz treatment.