Endless Escape

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Record stores/The Boy Least Likely To.

I know some people out there don't consider going to record stores cool anymore. For me it's been a life-long love affair. I adore spending time inside (good) record stores, fascinated by the music, endless discoveries, art and people there: I remember once standing in line behind this beautiful girl in Tower records in NYC with a huge pile of cd's (at least 40) under her arms, thinking that she would have been the right companion for me. Wish I had made a move!
Anyway, on Friday the 28th of January I was out and about in London and went to visit one of my favourite stores, Rough Trade in Talbot Road. It is the epitome of what great record stores should be: fantastic assortment, knowledgeable and friendly staff, good prices.
Amongst some other discs, I picked a pre-release cd which will be out (in the UK) on the 14th of February. It is by a group called "The Boy Least Likely To" that I knew nothing of. I strongly urge you to imitate me and make your Valentine a very happy, shiny day.
I have lifted from "ireallylovemusic.co.uk" (thanks!) the following review which I reprint for the benefit of those I have managed to interest.
Happy listening and, as always, add some music to your day.
"Before you even drop the disc in the player - you just know this is not going to be an hour of misery and torture, there's not going to be any pain involved, and, having overdosed on cold electronic noises for last few weeks this could indeed be the perfect antidote. from the outset the cover image gives away many secrets. with its art depicting colourful cartoon animals all lined up with various noises making devices and balloons you sense this is an album for lighter moods, innocent emotions, and will indeed provide a welcome respite to the stresses of the modern world.
comprising of 12 lo-fi indie pop songs made by pete (music) and jof (singer/lyricist) and dragging in various mates to flesh out the sounds, several of these songs have appeared on limited 7 inch vinyl available via ebay bidding wars, this album proper collects these together for the lazy folks amongst us.
and lo - for 37 minutes this album does everything it should. easy on the ear melodies, sing-a-long chorus's, subtle nudges into lyrical surreal ness, toy box noises, handclaps, and joyous songs recalling all sorts of classic pop song creators from the last 20 years. there's teenage fanclub style guitars, super furry animal harmonies, belle and sebastian lyrical wordplay, and more importantly simplistically addictive marc bolan pop hooks all wrapped up with all sorts of non-standard noises (glockenspiels, fiddles get dropped in from time to time), which makes for a really great unpretentious album.
i mean, 4 listens in and you'll be smiling and swinging along whether you want to or not, just try and listen to 'i'm glad i hitched my apple wagon to your star' without imagining yourself being in the bedroom where this was recorded and joining in with the backing vocals - the song has the most uplifting happy vibe i have heard in years, which may annoy the more serious amongst you, but for me it induced a smile from ear to ear, even the recorder solo section, an instrument i hate, is ace.
oh, and there's banjos involved .. need i say more?
and, the good news is there's loads of songs like this - the acoustic guitars and driving rhythm of 'hugging my grudge' (schoolboy dreams and hormonal impulses), the lonesome country and western feel to 'my tiger my heart', the glockenspiel overload of the opening 'be gentle with me', with its declaration of 'i'm happy because i'm stupid'. ok, i accept that from certain more serious places the accusation of 'twee overdose' will probably be aimed at the happy clappy duo, but i care not, and i suspect neither do they !
this album will warm hearts, sooth the fiercest of bad moods and generally make the world a better place - excellent stuff".


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