The JangleBox

Indie, Noise, Shoegaze… Music

The Boy Least Likely To: The great perhaps (2013)

the great perhaps cover art

Días de Caramelo

Han pasado cuatro años desde aquel genial The law of the playground (2009), quizás demasiado para una agrupación tan divertida como The Boy Least Likely To. Pero Jof y Peter siguen enfrascados (y hacen bien) en su mismo mundo, enrocados en ese particular universo a medias entre infantil de juguete y adulto-post adolescente. En esa eterna frontera TBLLT nos ofrecen este tercer trabajo: The great perhaps (2013). Un disco que han editado gracias a la ayuda de todos sus seguidores (su proyecto de crowfunding sobrepasó con creces su objetivo), que hemos contribuido a que los chicos nos deleiten los oídos de nuevo con un disco que, aunque no tan arrebatador como su predecesor, sí que contiene momentos especialmente inspirados y atinados.
Como dije antes, la temática de The great perhaps continúa más o menos invariable: sentimientos (Even Jesus couldn´t mend my broken heart, The dreamer song, It could ´ve been me -dueto con Gwenno Sanders, de las Pippetes-), el miedo a una vida más adulta (Taking windmills for giants), el temor a la muerte (Lucky to be alive), o una mirada al cielo y a las estrellas (Michael Collins).
En el aspecto sonoro, sí que podemos contemplar una cierta evolución en la música de The Boy Least Likely To, quizás hacia un mayor empleo de sintetizadores y teclados que en épocas pasadas. Quizás aquí podríamos extrapolar ese sentido del paso a una edad más madura, y aunque el concepto de sus temas sea el mismo: ese sonido C86 con ayudas electrónicas, su sonido apunta por momentos hacia bandas como The Postal Service o unos Aztec Camera sintetizados. Lo cierto es que hay momentos absolutamente brillantes que están dominados por la electrónica, como la epatante Climbing out of love, uno de los mejores cortes del disco, o el impactante primer sencillo I keep falling in love with you again, reseñado en TJB en febrero de este mismo año.
The great perhaps pasa por ser, pues, uno de los momentos más emocionantes del panorama de 2013. La manera de entender la música de Jof y Peter forzosamente tiene que conducirte a quererlos. Son como esos dos amigos que de vez en cuando te reencuentras y te chateas a distancia con ellos. Si eres seguidor de Juan de Pablos, lo comprenderás en seguida.

________________________

UK duo The Boy Least Likely To have emerged as a beacon of stability within the tumultuous confines of the indie pop world by detaching themselves from the hype cycle and embarking on a course of measured release and evolution. In his review of the band’s second album, 2009’s The Law of the Playground, Marc Hogan spent a considerable amount of time grappling with the album’s outmoded feel, ultimately concluding that the record was “especially out of step in 2009.” Four years later, that statement still rings true: while the reigning hip sound has shifted from Hogan’s descriptions of harsh tones and flawless Auto-Tune to a sort of omnivorous polyglot pop, the thoroughly twee vibe and simple songcraft of The Boy Least Likely To remains surprisingly anachronistic. Divorced from the context of the larger pop landscape, the band’s new album The Great Perhaps finds Jof Owen and Pete Hobbs progressing at their own pace, exploring new sounds and becoming decreasingly reliant on the juxtaposition of child-like sonics and mature lyrical themes.
The finest moments on The Great Perhaps typically revolve around the band’s deployment of a previously unheard influence or instrument. Early single “Climbing Out of Love” is constructed around an indelible, bubbly synth hook and a basic, cycling acoustic guitar riff: the result is a touching electro-acoustic pop curio that’s reminiscent of the brightest cuts from Bright Eyes’ 2005 oddity Digital Ash in a Digital Urn. Another highlight is the gentle ballad “Michael Collins,” which flashes a second or two of Beach House-like drum machine haze before taking a right turn into tasteful string orchestration and harmonies that could’ve been ripped from a late-period Band of Horses B-side. It’s apparent that Hobbs and Owen have been digesting the work of several of their contemporaries, and the deployment of those influences is consistently strong on The Great Perhaps.
The album’s other great successes find Owen focusing on specific narratives and fleshing out songs with certain lyrical details, rather than sticking to basic rhymes and big-picture concepts. “Michael Collins” uses the imagined experience of an early American astronaut to set up a consideration of our lack of perspective, and the combination of that big lyrical reveal with aforementioned vocal harmony is strikingly touching. Elsewhere, on the slow-paced lament “The Dreamer Song,” Owen’s mention of small items like flimsy spring blossoms and gin-lemonade cocktails greatly flesh out an otherwise standard tale of hopeless romanticism.
That said, a few songs over the course of The Great Perhaps’ could use a lot more of this sort of detail. The album’s weakest songs lean too heavily on the crutch of pairing sonic whimsy with adult rumination on love and loneliness, and the result is a handful of maudlin cuts couched in cliché. In this vein, the album’s nadir is the blessedly quick “Even Jesus Couldn’t Mend My Broken Heart”, which marries a sparkly Wiggles-worthy synth melody to the hopeless titular claim. The shock of this combination transcends surprise and quickly zooms into the realm of questionable taste; it feels like a cheap trick, especially given the mature construction of the album’s second half.
There’s a certain comfort found in following a band whose slow, subtle growth seems entirely separated from the rapidly changing indie pop landscape. The Great Perhaps is another modestly successful step for The Boy Least Likely To, reassurance that the band is still cranking out thoughtful, gentle work” (Pitchfork)

Facebook / Cómpralo-Purchase

24 julio, 2013 Posted by | The Boy Least LIkely To | Deja un comentario

Girl One and The Grease Guns: Jessica-6 (Squirrel Records, Single, 2013)

Girl One And The Grease Guns SQRL35 Jessica 6 / Bring On The Dancing Horse Meat

Tras aquel Driving without headlights (TJB, Abril 2013), Squirrel Records nos presenta el que es el nuevo sencillo de Girl One and The Grease Guns: Jessica-6, otro bonito corte mezcla entre el mejor Electropop (vía Human League, por qué no) y las melodías vocales propias de gente tan dispar como por ejemplo The Jesus and Mary Chain.
Lo cierto es que el tema es incontestable, y su belleza absolutamente sin par. Los teclados y los adornos accesorios sólo colaboran a mejorarla.
In April this year, Squirrel Records released the debut 7″ from Girl One And The Grease Guns. It went on to be one of the fastest selling 7″s we’ve ever unleashed on the world. Now, this mysterious collective deliver their follow-up… another 7″ release which continues the electro pop approach of the previous single… but this one is even better.
Jessica 6 is 3 minutes of pure pop. Sounding something like The Human League in places, but with a vocal melody reminiscent of The Jesus And Mary Chain, it gets straight to the point and, like all great pop songs, doesn’t hang around for too long. 
Flip the single over, however, and you get the brilliantly titled Bring On The Dancing Horse Meat (Ian McCulloch would be so proud…maybe) which is a twisting, turning nugget of pop weirdness. Strange keyboard sounds, pulsing bass, trebly one chord Stereolab style guitar, slightly unhinged sounding vocals – it starts one way and ends completely differently, stretching itself out over 4 minutes and coming across like… well, we’ll let you make the comparisons for yourselves on this one. Recorded on a damp and dreary cold Spring day out to one of their favourite crumbling old brick buildings within The Ghost Town, and then delivered straight to us at Squirrel Records. With a full album on the way later this year, Girl One And The Grease Guns are shaping up to be one of the most interesting combos out there at the moment” (Squirrel Records)
Os dejo con su vídeoclip y el enlace a Facebook, para que conozcáis más sobre ellos.

Facebook / Squirrel Records

24 julio, 2013 Posted by | Girl One and The Grease Guns | Deja un comentario

   

A %d blogueros les gusta esto: