Album Review – Life’s Story by Javelin Boot (1991) (Self Released under No Duh Records)

Janglepop in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s was a ‘bag load of lad’. Bands such as R.E.M and McCarthy were busy politicizing anything that remotely upset them as they held aloft the flag for ‘angry young men’ on both sides of their pond. 
Similarly testosterone was injected into the natural beauty of the genre by virtue of the fact that bands such as The Smiths, Thousand Yard Stare, The Railway Children and Milltown Brothers were popping up from the UK’s less affluent towns. Thus all manner of floppy haired university types could support their cause safe in the knowledge that they were now forging the illusion of being part of the ‘council estate chic’ that pervaded an era where it was considered ‘cool’ to be poor.

Bands that that did not fit such an aesthetic, such as the Sultans of Ping FC, The Frank and Walters, Kingmaker and Camper Van Beethoven,  made sure that their ‘essence of man’ was equally as prominent by giving the lads guitar driven pop imbued with the irreverence of hugely irrelevant lyrics. It was the musical equivalent of Viz magazine and very much of the time.
As a student myself during such times, Javelin Boot provided me with something different from all of the above, for they were free of any manner of manly pretense. They did not need to jangle the hell out of their boy bits in order to be cool. They just played beautiful, melodic guitar/jangle-pop, with just a hint of The Groove Farm style tinny electric guitars.
Their’s was a vibe that could accompany even the hardest of students as they sat in their digs missing their mum’s and the doomed to failure long distance girlfriend, who eventually ran off with a builder called ‘Gordon’.

This album still stirs a sense of the slightly scared, lonely and juvenile in me when I listen to it just because of the associations it holds for me and I suppose that beyond just the pure appreciation of the actual listening experience, that is all any artist should ever really want from their music.

Cocktail Waitress

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