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Music  |  Reviews

Junior Boys: Begone Dull Care

[Domino]

April 8, 2009  |  9:00am
Junior Boys: <em>Begone Dull Care</em>
Electronic indie darlings pump out mechanical love on disappointing third album 

Credit Canadian studio savants Jeremy Greenspan and Matt Didimus with combining bleached snare beats and Teflon synthesizers into some of the most subdued, melancholic pop songs electronic music can call its own. Their sophomore record, So This Is Goodbye, hemorrhaged with moody brilliance, recreating the sound of a broken heart bleeding out on a Pro Tools monitor. Whether computers and drum loops can maintain the algorithm of raw emotion seems to be the question at hand with Begone Dull Care. But if Morning diagramed the deflating pain of loneliness, Begone revels in the post break-up haze of sexual revelry and dance floor posturing. Musically, this album is about as deep as a one-night stand.

Junior Boys drew inspiration for the album from the animation of Norman McLaren, an artist who married the movement of abstract shapes with pulsing noise and symphonic overtures. This explains much of the record's blase flow as a minimalist, primary-color event full of midi tempos and digital monotony, but '80s funk seems to be the more tangible aesthetic at work. Their previous kaleidoscopic swirls of pitch and cadence are truncated into straight-laced wah-pedal beats (“The Animator”) and grating synth riffs (“Hazel”). By the time Greenspan coos “Work it baby, work it” on the second track, the album’s single-minded libido practically drips out of the speakers. The album works strictly on a primitive level; it’s simple and sultry, but completely lacks mystique in its glaring mix of major-chord white noise. While there's decent fun to be had here, the Junior Boys have disregarded the dynamic intrigue of their previous work. 

Listen to Junior Boys on MySpace.

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