Boys Noize latest effort takes me back to 2005/6 when people first were listening to Ed banger etc and the other electronica of that time. Boys Noize always seemed to be ahead of the pack in this respect. ‘Oi Oi Oi’ was a distinctive album. Six years on though I am curious to see what, if anything, has changed in BN sound and writing. It would be wrong to expect or even demand another ‘Oi Oi Oi’ so what has changed?
‘What you want’ is the trade mark sounds of Boys Noize but the actual content – the samples vocals ‘this is what you want/this is what you get’ repeated and broken up and looped over and over. The sounds and textured synths on here are distinctively electronica throughout but Ridha has opted to bring in sounds and tricks that sound more at home on more mainstream electronic music and it just isn’t him at all – like jarring, stop-start sawing sections that just, well, cheapen the track a bit.
This doesn’t change much on the next track ‘XTC’. ‘XTC’ showcases Ridha’s abilities but the result isn’t overly pleasing on the ear or the inclination to dance. This is a noisy, intensive track – it’s like a band trying to get over a lack of song writing with excessive energy. ‘Oi Oi Oi’ was exciting for its ability to hold back and deliver in the right places but ‘XTC’ is just all out from start to finish. ‘Missile’ doesn’t improve on this especially because again it feels like you are hearing everything you have heard before but..again.
This far, it hasn’t been great but I wanted to find the positive in this, it had to be somewhere.
‘Ich R U’ was an improvement, this could be a good party song , it has a stronger groove and is less inclined to be constantly balls to the wall. The bass lines on here are fun and upbeat and Ridha pulls it back a bit in places to the benefit of the track. ‘Rocky 2’ has quite a cool muted opening but it develops into a noisy loop that would be at home on a Throbbing Gristle track but the squealing, squeaking electronics that pop and sound off in the background again don’t have a whole lot going for them.
‘Circus full of Clowns’, has a nice opening bass line and deeper feel overall – more of this would make this a better album. The spacey textures that pan to the left are a nice touch too. But (yet another) complaint is that the vocal sample here doesn’t do it for me, none of them do really – but that’s subjectivity. Towards the end a dubby bass wobble comes that is a good idea, a bassy feature, but dub-step (which is very dead) is not the answer.
‘Concord’ again starts out a lot stronger – there are some more interesting ideas on here certainly, but then about 2/3rds through the wave of screaming synths and effects fall in and start building. This template of build and drop reappears on the next tra’ck too. There are some nice hooks in here though and a stop/start groove comes in too cut up with some pretty good grooves. The vocal features are more successful on here too.
‘Reality’ is a return to the messy approach of the earlier tracks but ‘Merlin’ is a little more subtle, the muted synth sounds a good but the chunky melody itself just isn’t very groove orientated. ‘Stop’ again, I didn’t like it for all the stated reasons. The last track, ‘Got It’ has a Snoop Lion feature! and this draws in some hip-hop/r&b features into the production on top of the ascending and descending synth and bass. Snoop’s verses have a nice drum track behind them though but equally it feels just like a very pushed together track.
I was just disappointed by this album from the start because it just seems to be trying to be like everything else around at the moment in the commercial and consumer realm. It’s a shame but hopefully just the one.
‘Out of the Black’ came out on the 8th on boynoize records.