Britain’s The Boy Least Likely To have made waves in the past with their multi-instrumental pop tunes, and their back at it again with their latest release The Law of the Playground. Their sound clearly hasn’t evolved too much on this album, as they rely upon the same set of tricks that gained them popularity in the first place.
Once you press play, those of indie-pop should surely find a resemblance in vocalist Jof’s delivery, as his voice is a clear descendant of Matt Sharp of Rentals and Weezer fame. Even the musical accompaniment encourages this association, but its nice to have a familiar voice singing in your ear, even if it comes from someone entirely new.
Musically, you can find lots of similarities to various bands. The usage of multiple instruments throughout the album recall memories of other groups such as Architecture in Helsinki or I’m From Barcelona. All three groups rely upon an extensive use of layering in order to complete the accomplished goal at hand. And their is no shortage of bells and whistles here, not by a long shot.
You know the saying “everything and the kitchen sink,” well, it certainly applies. There indeed are bells and whistles, and it seems as if the band uses any thing at their command to create infectious melodies. Add some horns, and you’ll find that every single instrument you could imagine to find on a pop album is utilized here. It’s great in concept, but it has a tendency to wear the listener down. Just saying.
Now, looking deep in the lyrics will be hard to, as there really isn’t a great deal of depth swirling around the presentation here. Let’s take a song like “When Life Gives You Lemons I Make Lemonade.” Can you work a larger cliche into song than that one? Probably not. Which is precisely where this band loses you; their lack of interest, or seeming disinterest, is where you start to feel frustrated in listening to the band. They’ve built these perfectly crafted songs, yet they can’t ever seem to close the deal by attaching quality lyrics to such melodies.
Two albums into their career, the band have created a wide array of pop gems to their name, each built with precision and attention to every melodic detail. Time after time, they surprise you with moments of splendor, as they do in “Stringing up Conkers” on their most recent release. But, in the end, they always leave you craving for more, be it in regards to lyrics, or in regards to wanting more well-crafted songs, you’re sure to ask for more.
Download: Boy Least Likely To – Stringing Up Conkers [MP3]