Boring Machines Disturbs Sleep: Boy Omega : "The Grey Rainbow" (Stereo Test Kit Records)

Boring Machines Disturbs Sleep

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Boy Omega : "The Grey Rainbow" (Stereo Test Kit Records)

Boy Omega is the project of Swedish musician Martin Henrik Gustaffson. On the mini-album, "The Grey Rainbow", Gustaffson ropes in his 13-strong electric orchestra to create well crafted electronic pop songs.

His music has been described previously as "21st century folk" and it is not hard to see why, on this short but sweet 7 track release. Acoustic instruments are blended with digital production techniques and field recordings, to produce a sound that is as melancholic as The Cure, but also as vibrant as Arcade Fire.

Released on Stereo Test Kit Records, the album kicks off with "Burn The Flag", an upbeat number containing inventive drum patterns and urgently plucked acoustic guitar. The vocals here are strongly reminiscent of The Cure's Robert Smith. This is a style that is visited often by Gustaffson.

For the next track, "From Us To Eternity", Gustaffsson shows he has more strings to his bow and produces a performance that Elliot Smith would be proud of. His vocals are multi-tracked, much like the late singer, and are certainly one of the closest I've heard to Smith's style in a long time. This track erupts towards the end triumphantly, much like the way Arcade Fire are famed for.

Tracks on "The Grey Rainbow" veer from the 80's influenced synth pop of "For I Cannot Breathe" to the bare and stripped down balladry of "A Heart Is A Heart". However, the stand out track must go to the excellent ,"The Isle".

The Arcade Fire comparison rears its head again here, as marching band drums introduce this song. Around the halfway mark an infectious violin and piano segment is unleashed, sending the song spinning in a joyous new direction. It's a moment of pure inspired genius.

"The Grey Rainbow" is a more than decent effort that should please fans of perfectly executed electronic pop songs. However, the melodies along with innovative drum programming, the myriad of instruments used and the field recording techniques, places Boy Omega well ahead of their peers.

Listen here and order the album form Stereo Test Kit Records.

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