New YX – Slow Boy

...this band could if they so wished make something really powerful and interesting, no doubt

I missed this release, don’t know why. A shame, because Slow Boy is a thoroughly enjoyable record all round, I like the sound and the fact it’s so simple and not at all gauche. I wouldn’t want to piss the girl singer off that’s for sure. At times it can get a bit formulaic but that I think is down to the relative lack of light and shade, and the fact that things are often at a standard tempo. But there’s something here.

Opener Tiny Villains gambols along, it's like a big puppy jumping all over you, infectious and enjoyable, and something you may want to keep at arm’s length at times: still, it boasts a chorus of the sort of thing that all good rock records should possess. There’s a thump in the drums that has the whole New Order thing to it: dumb, big, and insistent and the driver of the music. Double Head and Crystal Meth allow this reviewer's New Order musings to take further shape, they are very much like Brotherhood or Waiting for The Siren’s Call outtakes. I like the girl’s voice too, albeit because she tries to ape that wobble that Liz Frazer had on Garlands. The lyrics are simple, and a bit daft: the Dutch LOVE using big, vague phrases that cover all sorts of eventualities, without giving anything truly personal away: fighting fire with fire, coming back for more (more what?, butter?), can’t get out (where from? Nieuw Vennep?) etc., etc.

Still, this is pretty good all round, it’s not going to win any prizes in the originality stakes (what does?) but it has presence and confidence. Jersey Shore is a plodding rant about something or other, Bremen Nacht-style. And Slow Boy has moments of getting all stroppy but settles down to become a fairly standard rock song. I’d hope that they could develop this kind of aural harangue a bit more, stretch it, make it more hysterical, give a focus to the lyrics and add a bit more light and shade, because you get the feeling this band could if they so wished make something really powerful and interesting, no doubt about it.