Posts Tagged ‘Bobo Integral’

The Boys With the Perpetual Nervousness

On their sophomore LP, the lengthily named The Boys With the Perpetual Nervousness dig into a wealth of US power pop and ‘80s collegiate jangle that might fit in well with the recently sprung set Strum & Thrum. The record carries an earnestness that’s admirable, playing its heart-stung swoons without hint of tongue near the cheek. The Boys are wrapping their heartache in a cavalcade of hooks that are rather hard to ignore as they flip through an alternate history radio station where Superdrag’s second LP got the praise it deserved, Teenage Fanclub topped everyone’s list over Nirvana in ’91 and Matthew Sweet kept on writing songs for Choo Choo Train rather than split solo. It’s a world where emotional honesty never quite went out of style and perfect pop simply meant that the chords got bigger and brighter.

On paper, as out of fashion with the zeitgeist of pop as it might sound, the band pulls it off with a freshness that doesn’t seem so much like they’re holding onto the past as traveling that alternate timeline in earnest. The strums are huge and swimming around the speakers, the keys crisp as a ray of sun and the harmonies tend to warm the heart even when the tone swings bittersweet. I’m always going to be a sucker for a record that goes this hard on mining the melancholy ache that lies between the jangle and strum, but even without my admitted bias, it’s hard not to admire The Boys for the sheer audacity of their ardor. It’s possible that this may get lost in the froth of music coverage in 2021, but as with some of the most admirable pop albums, there’s a very good chance that Songs From Another Life will find a niche that reveres it for the double stacked hooks and cardigan-clad care that’s gone into it.



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Pop Filter

Ok, here goes, the last review of the year and then I’m going to get a week of rest before 2021 kicks into gear.

With one great album from Pop Filter on the books for 2020, the second only seems like a bit of a year end gift. The band, which pivoted from their previous incarnation as The Ocean Party following the tragic passing of member Zac Denton, brings a more subdued set that might actually fit better under their previous moniker. The record is certainly dredging up some of the raw heart feelings that The Ocean Party often toyed with. While Banksia found joy even in times of turmoil, Donkey Gully Road is the faded flannel underside to that record. The songs here hit like sighs, as if the first album was putting on a brave front but with the second they’ve let the pop veneer slide to better heal through melancholy saunter. Like their days in The Ocean Party, the band don’t force hooks forward on DGR, but instead let them work their way under the skin with a subtle twist of the knife.

There’s a feeling of last call hovering around the album — a walk out into the streetlights that’s concurrent with the nagging feeling of not wanting to go home. That said, the album’s not as downer as I’m making it out to be. Its comforting all the same, ambling and finding an inner peace somewhere between the pangs that hit the heart without warning. By the end they’re even back to their almost upbeat selves, with the plucky swing of “Checkin’ Out” wiping a few tears from the eyes. This record feels more like a companion piece to Banksia than a standalone follow-up, and with the close proximity it might be well to treat it as such. Both records work as a cypher to opening the other up more fully — a pop choose your own adventure worth embarking on to be sure.



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Tim Cohen – “Rage On”

Great news slides down the mountain today that a new solo slab from Tim Cohen (The Fresh & Onlys) is on the way next year from rising label Bobo Integral. The first cut from the album is “Rage On,” which, despite the title is a rather mellow melt into the sunset. Cohen hooks up again with his longtime collaborator James Barone (Beach House) behind the boards and the drum kit. Alongside horns, keys, and backing vocals by members of Magic Trick and Flaural, the record showcases yet again, the tender side of Cohen’s songbook. Album opener, “Rage On” rises out of the river with a gospel-laced delivery anchored by ‘70s Rhodes lines. Cohen makes the song simmer and sway, constantly pushing towards a release, but more often than not he holds the song close to his chest like a meditative murmur. The record, You Are Still Here arrives on shelves March 26th.




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