Green Man 2009 Live: The Strange Boys

Written By:

David Morris

28th August 2009
At 00:14 GMT

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Having got excited enough over their E.P to actually attempt a different writing style (here), you’d think this would have got me going. But just as I was putting on a voice and consequently sounding rather annoying, so is the singer in The Strange Boys. One Nil!

Were they all as tiny as they looked? How old were they? You could snap their ankles with a well placed Frisbee. Anyway, back to the voice, because the rest of it was a competent melange of surf/psych/country/punk that might have been slightly more engaging had the sound system not been far too quiet.

I guess some people really like this kind of thing at the moment, fortunately they’re wrong and will get over it soon or never, but they’re going to have to become Grade A Nostalgistas if they don’t stop Peter Panning around soon.

Not that these guys are bad, like Ganglians (ok, haven’t heard the new LP everyone says is way better), they’re just another one trick pony… wait, aren’t Wooden Shjips a one trick pony I hear you cry? Ah, but isn’t God a one trick pony? How entertaining could someone showing you how omniscient they are really be?

So it depends on the nature of the one trick, is that where we’re all headed? Read that article on Hypnagogic Pop in The Wire a couple months back? No? So my self-satisfied distaste is based on the dude’s voice, which wasn’t so irritating on record. If I start throwing out the bargain basement similes (Muppet on a bad acid trip suddenly recalling horrific child abuse then wondering if they, or the acid, made it up and then singing a nursery rhyme to calm itself down) we won’t really get anywhere.

All I can is that I didn’t like it because it sounded like he was contorting his vocal (tightening the throat, locking the lower jaw, raising the pitch) as much as possible just to sound like nobody else (ish), because they haven’t got much else going for them. It seems to have worked on some people and I don’t blame any of them for it.

This only really became evident and grating at the live show because he clearly had to concentrate so hard on his Kimmy-Thurstony punk lullabies (and the muscle antics) that there was no room left for anything else. The others were plugging along. Good for them.

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