Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Boys Who Say No: "Contingencies" (album review)

There's being eclectic and then there is Contingencies, the forthcoming debut full length (out February 21st) from Toronto band Boys Who Say No.  The band seem to have a never-ending stream of influences that they  incorporate onto this record.

What they do best is the pop.  The 1-2 punch of the hook-heavy "Ms Lee" and the bouncy "56K" will put a smile on even the most sour face.

The album has it's darker moments, like the opener "Atonement", and the Morrissey-esque woe-is-me "(untitled)".  "You Used To Get Along" is strangely trapped in the middle, hanging out in the limbo between Joy Division and '80s synth pop.

The freewheeling live jam sound of "Working Weak" is reminiscent of Spirit Of The West, while "Small Town Girl" has a Vampire Weekend quirky island tinge to it.  "You, Me & The Devil", with its Modest Mouse cadence leads into the ethereal "Punching Underwater".

It's all a bizarre mishmash that makes for a disjointed listen.  It's as though the band are desperately searching around for an identity, and have brought you along for the ride.

Contingencies is a very apt title for the record.  It seems as if you don't like a style, Boys Who Say No have another one always at the ready.

Boys Who Say No play the Steam Whistle Brewery on February 24th as part of the Steam Whistle Unsigned series.

Best tracks: "56K", "Working Weak"

Track listing for Contingencies:
  • Atonement
  • You Used To Get Along
  • Ms Lee
  • 56K
  • Working Weak
  • Small Town Girl
  • You, Me & The Devil
  • Punching Underwater
  • Country Real Estate
  • Worn Out
  • Vet Us
  • (untitled)

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