The amateur (rubbish) music journo in me so badly wants to give an apt description of any particular act’s aesthetic. Unfortunately the whole ‘amateur thing’ usually means I fail. Fail with total passion for the sound I am reviewing, but fail nonetheless.
This failure is exacerbated when assessing the sound of Bordeaux based Bootchy Temple. For this band invite the tendency to always add just the one last genre reference to their all encompassing indie-pop, psyche-pop, C86, House of Love, Dream-pop, twee-pop, jangly sound, as layer upon layer of sound are gently unfurled.
I’ll add Sarah Records as the ‘one last one’ (although there is a wider choice) as this eclectic five-piece stride fervently away from from the more muscular alt.rock sound that typified 2018’s Glimpses debut and towards all things indie-pop 80’s and 90’s.
Despite the above (failed) description, this really is not a case of throw enough indie cool at enough cool indie kids and hope that at least some of it sticks. For the majority of this release is strongest of musical solvent.
Initially the vocals are striking and add an obvious unifying theme to the two primary nuances. All Darren Hayman left field (im)perfections juxtaposed with the rounded, mock sophistication and theatrics of Babybird, it’s a delivery that will always invite instant recognition as their undoubted potential eventually cavorts with fame. Its the best of 90’s indie-pop schmaltzy.
Musically, the best of the album sees Shame Stay, Lost Future and Solastalgia slide hazy, melodic psyche-pop around the sort of twang laden jangly sound of Yo La Tengo and The Umbrella Puzzles.. It’s all beautifully melodic, whilst simultaneously being appropriately sullied by a strange sparsity and murkiness that makes me want to tread cautiously towards a Dunedin Sound reference point.
The other alluring nuance present in the album is much more slight, with Blank Words, Nowhere Else and Since I’ve Seen Your Smile glistening fragile jangled riffs before, behind and through more dominant chime. It’s as if the more muscular riffs of The Cry are fighting for attention with all manner of Robert Wratten pretty. It’s a fight that neither side dominates or wins, but the spectacle remains aurally perfect.
Bootchy Temple are one of those bands who you just could not imagine never being massive. Grab them now before a big label tries to change them.