Wednesday, June 09, 2004
I've already posted about Boyskout several times, but their CD School of Etiquette just keeps growing on me, so here's one more...I'd really like to see them do well enough to record/release more material. If I had to grossly generalize, I'd lump Boyskout in the same category as the Cure -- they share the Cure's ability to break out of the goth trappings and write a catchy pop song when need be -- with some distant echoes of Sleater-Kinney and Romeo Void. There's probably some Joy Division in the mix as well, but since I don't know that band well and don't like what I do know, I'm going to pretend there isn't.
I think I previously mentioned that I originally didn't take Boyskout very seriously, but I thought that the video for their song Back To Bed (you can still download the video here) was kind of funny/sexy. After downloading the mp3 for Back To Bed at their site (at least one of the other two mp3's might not be the best choice to promote the band) I found myself playing the song over and over and finally decided to buy the CD just to have better sound. I didn't really expect this at the time, but said CD is still in heavy rotation. There's a slight quality drop-off about half-way through, but none of the weaker tracks are flat-out bad - there's a spoken part in one song (Girl On Girl Action) that comes very close to bugging me a lot, but it's over fairly quickly.
The track that's moved into pole position lately is Imaginary, though Jesse James remains a strong contender. Barring major late-year developments, this album is going to be an unexpected guest in my top ten.
I have a feeling that it's just a coincidence, but Imaginary reminds me somewhat of a band called Appliance who do a spin on Stereolab/droney Krautrock/Spacemen 3. It's not a case where one song sounds like the other, but Imaginary and a lot of Appliance tracks use electronic squiggles, short clean-toned guitar lines and have a droney, semi-motorik feel. Here's my favorite Appliance song, Pacifica , just to give an idea. Appliance have three CDs and various singles/ep's. I'd recommend their first album Manual as the place to start, and possibly as the place to stop: the main problem with Appliance is that they can't seem to write good vocal melodies, so many of their songs end up sounding the same with the enervated vocals running up and down a 3-4 note scale that always ends on the same note the bass is playing, which gets to be a drag after a while. On a one-track-at-a-time basis, though, they can be fun.
[The photo for this post comes from Jasper of this place, a very cool site with lots of pictures/info for local NY bands.]