Languid comedown music seems to have been on a solid upswing for the past decade as Coldplay blazed the trail. A Boy and His Kite adhere to this new standard aggressively, or at least sluggishly, throughout their self-titled album. This characterization is probably not fair to the Kites, as they mix in acoustic Americana rather than the impenetrable Englishness that Coldplay wallow in. Please don’t take my low grade kvetching as an insult to this album. I don’t think it’s bad at all but I think you really have to be into this scene to get into this record. A party record it ain’t. It begins with a two minute ethereal intro and only gets slightly more energetic from there.
The second song “You Want It, You Got It” is probably the most driving on the album, which says something as it’d be a cool down track on most rock records. It starts with a slow motion frenetic drumbeat and relaxes from there. Soon we are into “Good Men” which confirms the bands style, lest there be anyone holding out for an up tempo rocker.
We are then gifted with nine more songs of dream-like lethargy. Personally, I’m partial to the bass heavy “It’s Racing”, the woodwinds of “Let It Down”, and the simple rhymes of “Half As Tall”. Whatever your own ponderous pleasures , though, you will find them somewhere in here. Especially if you are partial to measured electric guitar picking, which the Boys have in spades.
Leaden as it is, the slow pace of the record hides its strength, which is that there are no dud tracks. Every song is pretty to really good… if this is your thing. And that’s the real question. I don’t know if this style is enough to sustain a band through their career. (Although I guess Coldplay haven’t done too badly.) This seems like one hell of a niche. Then again, is it any more of a niche than death metal? Cannibal Corpse has a solid tour schedule. Good luck to you, shoegaze popsters. You got a decent record here.