Saturday, 2 August 2008

To My Boy, Messages

To My Boy, Messages
Abeano Music

Hailing from Liverpool, To My Boy are purveyors of a sexy, scratchy space-pop that will no doubt be filed under ‘new rave’ along with countless other new bands who happen to be wearing Nike Hi-Tops. Unsurprisingly, there’s nothing much ravey about Messages save for a generous use of shimmering synth and energetic beats. Besides, this album is actually about something: each song is an ode to their fascination with the power of technology and the possibility to ‘step inside the mainframe’. The eleven tracks blend malfunctioning drum machines, glassy guitars and android vocals to provide a backdrop to philosophical musings on the internet, atheism and civilisation.

This is a sound that could only have come from the meeting of art school savvy (Sam White) and a physicist’s geeky obsessions (Jack Snape). They preach the democratising force of computers, asking ‘how can you feel alone when we’re all in the zone?’ Yet this isn’t an exercise in irony – in songs like ‘Outer Regions’, their ‘atheist hymn to optimism’, To My Boy praise the computer as a tool for interaction and increased human contact rather than the sterile object we generally regard it as.

With this in mind, Messages is obviously a member of the Kraftwerk church of Computer Love, but musically this record has far more texture and warmth. Ace singles ‘I Am X Ray’ and ‘The Grid’ pound along like a thousand monkeys with cymbals and, along with most of the other tracks, they’re made for the dancefloor. Besides, Messages is defiantly un-retro – this is not an album about robots and fantasy futurism but about the globalised, wireless world that we already live in. Ultra-modern and uniquely stylish.


No comments: