Young To Die)
to The Boy Least Likely To’s debut album, The
Best Party Ever, you could hear a group that had grown up listening to a
steady stream of English folk, dancehall and novelty hits, but would rather
play music akin to the twee singles they collected. The influence of the former
was evident but was jumbled charmingly with the jangly groove of the latter.
makes their latest album such a step down for the band is that Jof Owen and
Pete Hobbs – the two young men behind TBLLT’s words and music – have left that
mixture behind, letting the novelty take precedence on the majority of their creations
here. Tracks like “I Box Up All The Butterflies” and “I Keep
Myself To Myself” both have sea shanty, pub sing-along backing tracks that
feel uneasily combined with Owen’s self-conscious lyrics. Others feel like
distant cousins of tracks off Party,
but missing some essential element to carry it past the point of retread.
surprisingly, when TBLLT moves forward with the ideas that made them such a
delight on their debut, or strip things back considerably, they come up with
some positively brilliant moments. The two best tracks – “A Balloon On A
Broken String” and “A Fairytale Ending” – are both bumping pop
anthems that actually leave you feeling full inside thanks to Owen’s sharp
personal observations and Hobbs’ mixture of wooden and electronic instrumentation.
Standout tracks: “A Balloon On A
Broken String”, “The Worm Forgives The Plough”, “A
Fairytale Ending” ROBERT HAM