Thursday, 9 February 2012

The 2kDozen 500: #55 - Boy Friend, "Egyptian Wrinkle"

First problem: I have no idea what an "Egyptian wrinkle" might be. I suspect it's a phrase for something interesting and I will turn ever so micrometrically in my moist grave, if I die without finding out what it is.

Second problem: In my attempt to discover what an "Egyptian wrinkle" might be I came across a review in the NME that consigned this album and the peeps in Boy Friend to some nth circle of Hell for making a record that lacks any "lingering conceit, construct or standout moment" and is the "welcome ... final nail in the coffin" of chillwave/witch house. My problem is that I'm quite a latecomer to the chillwitch party (and it makes great late party music, I'd suggest) and still not sure which genre stands where and who means what and how much it can drink before passing out.

I may have an oversimplified idea of the NME as a tightly-editorially-controlled hype machine and underestimate the degree to which freelancers can wander from any party line. BUT a lack of "lingering conceit" rarely seems to have troubled their writers in the past - unless "we're the best pack of landfill reptiles making music about deathly-dull, cocaine-hampered partying on the planet right now" counts as a conceit. It lingers on the parts of my tongue reserved for sensing creative bankruptcy, I can tell you that much. Ptooey!

So... It starts beautifully. "Rogue Waves I" could be the theme of a late Sergio Leone film: Once Upon A Time In Austin, perhaps? (They're from Austin, see?) Muted but with a cinematic fuzzy guitar line and a nice line in birdsong before an apocalyptic rumble takes over. "Rogue Waves II" book ends at the other side with the track reversed: rumble to "Julia Dream" style keys to fade. I'm a sucker for the backwards track.

"Lovedropper" puts down some "waste of time" with uplifting, blunt chords. "In Case" is a put down to a character that lies to themselves, although the lyrical message gets submerged in more reverb sweetness. "I didn't know the love we had wasn't your first," they sing on "Lazy Hunter", and I finally realise the band's name describes what this side project is about: all about the love life, oui? "Egyptian Wrinkle" (Aaaahhhhh!!! How my brain itches!) slides and glides in and out of witchy dream pop gears nice and smooth.

Nothing that will shatter the Earth, but warm and touching the right spots. Especially if you're looking to numb a broken heart with shivering sounds.

Rating: Witch Nails out of House Coffin

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