Boardwalk - Boardwalk

by Steve Reynolds Rating:6 Release Date:2013-10-21

Little is known of dream-pop duo Boardwalk, except that they were born from the sun-drenched climes of LA last year. Mike Edge is main knob-twiddler, leaving the ethereal vocals to Amber Quintero. They are the ultimate in minimal, threadbare electronica with the odd guitar refrain, effectively a more sedate version of Beach House (if that is humanly possible) with a penchant towards the mono arrangement of Phil Spector's 60s girl groups and the economic drum patterns of early Jesus & Mary Chain.

It all starts rather brightly with 'I'm Not Myself', its chiming guitar chords looping across subtle tambourine and spacey keyboards while Amber nonchalantly drones some snoozey vocals - not a bad opening gambit. However, the biggest problem is that the succeeding songs follow a similar path. 'What's Love' is practically horizontal and riddled with cataclysmic gloom. Don't get me wrong, I like gloom and doom in my music but this peters out into nothing. 'Crying' adopts an identical tempo but is saved by the shards of six-string and their own Mazzy Star interpretation.

Boardwalk's music has a time and a place; it's melancholy and plaintive and is destined for night moods, a set of earphones and a large glass of Chablis but its downside is it contains copious amounts of self-indulgence and lack of variation. Overall, the album is dotted with more minuses than plus points.

However, there is promise in the songs. The beautifully fragile closer 'I'm to Blame' with its smooth guitar-lines and murmuring synths demonstrate that the band do have the potential to make something memorable. The proof will be in what direction they decide to take their own difficult second album.

Overall Rating (0)

0 out of 5 stars