Friday, October 5, 2012

Album Review: Small Town Boredom – Autumn Might Have Hope

Small Town Boredom is the bandname for Fraser McGowan and Colin Morrison from Scotland.  They deal in a brand of downbeat, gentle melancholia, framed by McGowan’s ‘delicate’ vocals.
The approach is very much lo-fi, and very moody… the titles will give you a clue – Apologies For Apathy, Sympathy For The Drowning, Understanding Blackness.  At 14 tracks there is quite a lot to get through here but there are some strong songs.  The gorgeous picked guitars of For Today I Missed The Dawn Break makes it an early highlight.  The Great Lodging and Sympathy for the Drowning aim hard for the gutter, while other tracks like the accordion-tinged Monday Night H.O.P.E. Group and the gentle duet Elder Park & All That Followed are more reminiscent of miserabilists like Arab Strap or Dakota Suite.
Many of the other tracks are quite brief, featuring barely audible guitar and whispered vocals (Another Coded Message, How I Learned To Love The Waterboys).  The instrumental interludes are more successful, with alluring guitar picking on William Summer’s Blues and On The Crookston Line.
The album could probably do with shades of light here and there to break the relentless misery.  So sad b**t**d music then, in a good way.  It's available via bandcamp: http://tromerecords.bandcamp.com/album/autumn-might-have-hope