The Boy Anvil – The Golden Sea (CD)

Okay, I think everyone understands that President Bush is an idiot. I am fairly sure that individuals are familiar with most of the sound bites taken from “Emancipation”, so to devote a few minutes to this fact seems a little excessive. “Dishonest” is really where The Boy Anvil needs to be; the backing instrumentation really reflects an interest in late eighties electropop (think New Order or some earlier Depeche Mode) and “Windowlicker”-era Aphex Twin. The inclusion of such a human style of vocals during all of “The Golden Sea” makes for an interesting struggle between organic and inorganic factions.

I’m not sure if this is an intentional facet of the production of the disc, but the vocals seem to red-line much too often considering that the instrumentation is so prim and proper. “Oh, God” seems to move The Boy Anvil into another direction, putting as the primary influence something from the mid to late nineties; hints of The Chemical Brothers, Josh Wink, The Avalanches and Plastikman all come into play in this eclectic romp through the daisies. The problem of too-loud vocals come back into play in the (otherwise) very beautiful “South”; the heavy use of a piano-sounding brand of synthesizer line makes this track almost a relation to Tupac’s “Changes” more than anything. When The Boy Anvil really gets into the monotone-vocals present on “New Vanity”, I think that ey finally matches the quality of the vocals to the high level created by the instrumentation. What results is a wonderfully disconcerting track that screams “horror movie murderer” than all-around friendly person; this change in narration gives listeners the added boost to finish out this disc.

Throwing another wrench into the formerly-cohesive sound of the disc, “Digital City” is perhaps the most inorganic track on “The Golden Sea”, with an acoustic featured on the track most heavily. The presence of maracas and bongos during the track brings The Boy Anvil into yet another realm; that of a musical eclecticism not seen since the eighties work of Paul Simon or Peter Gabriel. The one thing that really distinguishes this one-person act from individuals like Mizar and Steve Lieberman is that there are different ideas struggling for dominance here, unlike the aforementioned two artists. Since there is this argument occurring through the entirety of the disc, The Boy Anvil is able to make a more interesting album that if a single idea dominated.

Top Tracks: Digital City, Oh, God

Rating: 6.9/10

[JMcQ]

The Boy Anvil – The Golden Sea / 2005 Self-Released / 9 Tracks / Reviewed 09 February 2006

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