Thursday, July 30, 2015

Cassette Review: New Boss "Twee Boogie Vol. 1 & 2" (Funny / Not Funny Records)

[$5 // Edition of 100 //]

When I first heard New Boss it was part of a split with Borrowed Beams of Light but as I even recall now it wasn't so much a split as a double album as both bands had enough songs on each side to really make it feel like they were each putting forth a full length album.   As this is titled in a series of two volumes it should be noted that, yes, this does indeed feel like a double album in some ways as well, which of course is never a bad thing because if you're listening to good music then the more of it that you listen to the better I say.

The first thing you need to know about "Twee Boogie Vol. 1 & 2" perhaps is that "twee boogie" is the tag that New Boss uses to describe themselves as per their Facebook page more than a reflection of their sound.   Granted, I'm going to explain to you the various elements which make the sound of New Boss on this cassette so perhaps I will simply be describing the elements of "twee boogie", but as I think back to the earliest days of HHBTM Records and the such from when I first heard the word "twee" in music I don't really hear that quite as much here.

With elements of Hunx and being somewhat pop punk, I like to think of this as being a somewhat upped version of Bayside.   Bayside- one of my favorite bands- has this darkness to them and I feel like if you remove that and not necessarily make this "upbeat" but it does just have more of a mellow flow than the anger and sadness which come from Bayside.    There is a bit of Weezer in the songs but when I hear it, I can also hear some classic rock guitar riffs coming through so it makes for a nice modern and classic vibe.    As the sound becomes fuzzy by the end of Side A I can also hear it as being like something off of "Pretty in Pink" and then by the end it is like a noisy rock band which brings out some No Joy for me.  (Side Note: I love No Joy but their songs can tend to run together for me at times.  This is a problem New Boss does not have)

Side B- which would be Vol. 2- has a definitive sound to it the whole way through as opposed to changing it up as we heard on the first side/volume.   With elements of pop it has big guitar riffs and can pick up the pace to get closer to punk.   Belle & Sebastian can come out just as easily as dreamy hints of The Cure and this is some kind of new wave rock I just can't put my finger on.    Somewhat Talking Heads, there is just this feel where you want to think of it as being like Boston or Air Supply or a band from that era where you know the songs and you sing along but you don't know who the artist responsible for them is.   I even feel like they could be those types of songs you always hear in movies and you eventually have to find out who it's by simply because it's being used so much.

Combined with that are elements of something modern.   A little EFS, but the core and structure of a band such as Neon Trees as well even though the songs aren't quite delivered in the same way.   So you could think of it in the way that all sour cream and onion potato chips are potato chips but not all potato chips are sour cream and onion.   It's a toss up for me between whether this should go on the "Juno" or "Angus" soundtrack, but those are two pretty amazing soundtracks that are probably the closest in relation within my small soundtrack collection.  I also am picking up on a slight Spoon vibe, but nothing too big.

At the end of the day it comes down to what it always comes down to: if you enjoy good music (and you found this site so you're headed in the right direction) then you are going to enjoy New Boss.   If you didn't listen to my recommendation after their split then you're still going to want to get that and now this as well.   If you've been listening to the split then you obviously don't need me telling you how good this is because I'm guessing you already have it.   Just a solid cassette full of rock that can go back in time and be modern at the same time.   You've gotta love it.

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