The new album by Wales based band, BOI, is essentially as Rock and Roll as it gets, though, you could label it with a variety of subgenres. The record, which is sang entirely in Welsh, is 10 songs that harkens to a time when hope was actually a viable option, yet still feels modern as well. Of course, the language barrier will be a factor, but personally speaking, I found the record to be as engaging as anything I’ve recently reviewed. The songs are strategically and passionately composed and each one has a distinctive feel and personality. BOI has listed The Dandy Warhols and The Brian Jonestown Massacre as influences on Coron O Chwinc.
On “Ribirdires,” we get a mid-tempo number, with a bit of an REM feel. The guitars are jangly but tight, and the snare boast a remarkably deep sound. This song shows incredible focus and interplay between the band. It’s a simple 4/4 beat, but it’s delivered with such precision and crisply. The vocal melody is the real hook on this one, as the harmonies are gorgeously succinct.
“Ynys Angel,” might be one of my favorite songs on the record, thus far. It’s got a bit of a slower tempo, but it’s about as catchy as this genre, gets. The band once again, plays like a well oiled and fluid machine. Lead Vocalist, Rhodri Sion hits some incredibly impressive notes on this one, especially towards the latter half. However, it’s the bass work by Haleed Mair Watkins, that really holds the track, together. This is not a particularly flashy piece, but it’s flawlessly performed. Even with the language barrier, you feel immersed in the narrative, contained within the lyrics.
Business really picks up on “Cael Chdi Nol.” This is an up tempo rocker, that starts at full speed, and never puts on the brakes. Guitarist, Ifan Emlyn is the driving force behind this one. This track, stylistically, has that 90’s aesthetic to it, shrouded in good natured indifference. You really get a feel for BOI at this point on the record, and start to form a clearer picture of who they are, and how they fit into the landscape. You begin to appreciate the uniqueness they bring to the table, by simply having the courage to be themselves.
While falling a bit short of record of the year, Coron O Chwinc is as fully fleshed and complete as it gets. There is a great deal of diversity and although the songs are often centered around a simple template, they are brilliantly arranged. Each member has a chance to shine, and the band strictly operates as a unit. Discovering Coron O Chwinc, is like stumbling onto an amazing book in a section of the library, you didn’t even know existed. My recommendation is that you dismiss the superficial aspect of the language barrier, and give Coron O Chwinc a real chance. I didn’t regret it, and I don’t think you will, either.
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