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This Many Boyfriends – This Many Boyfriends (Review)

This Many Boyfriends LP

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

LEEDS favourite new indie kids This Many Boyfriends have delivered a self-titled debut album that exists to have fun.

Short, arguably one-note, but witty and energetic, this is a breeze of a listen that combines punk and indie tendencies with retro-leaning values and a youthful exuberance. And while not every track hits, the album doesn’t hang around long enough to outstay its welcome.

Recorded and mixed by Ryan Jarman of The Cribs at Edwyn Collins’ West Heath Studios in London, it’s a love letter to all things youth-related as well as to the bands that have helped inform the band’s musical choices to this point.

Hence, if certain songs carry the ring of the familiar (The Smiths, for instance), then frontman Richard Brooke makes no apology. Each song is, after all, littered with such references. And he candidly explains: “We just love other people’s records so much we wanted to get them into our own. It makes more sense to sing about records people know rather than, say, straightforward love songs to some random person.”

It’s this refreshing honesty that also helps to endear This Many Boyfriends to the listener, for it also shines through in the songs.

Highlights include (I Should Be A) Communist, a witty look at a confused teen that screams out early Smiths, and the richly melodic Number One, a pure love song that thrives on its mix of endearing lyrics (“the first time I wrote you a letter was on the back of a cheaply made newsletter”) and chiming guitar riffs.

You Don’t Need To Worry, meanwhile, hooks you in from the very first riff and its keen sense of nostalgia, while the highly comedic I Don’t Like You (‘Cos You Don’t Like Pastels) is a riot of punk rock energy complete with musical references ranging from Springsteen to The Go Betweens. It’s got that crazy, head-bashing vibe reserved for all the best coming-of-age anthems, from The Sultans of Ping and Arctic Monkeys to Blur.

Evidence of the band’s ability to mature over the course of time is also evident as well. Occasionally, when they slow down the tempo (as on the aforementioned Number One) they obtain a broader appeal too.

Sometimes with its darker riffs and lyrics (“let’s just take a break from this life”) and Everything, which rounds the album off with a little more darkness and a chorus that errs towards the atmospheric, both hint at even better things to come.

For now, though, This Many Boyfriends are doing just fine.

Download picks: (I Should Be A) Communist, Number One, You Don’t Need To Worry, I Don’t Like You (‘Cos You Don’t Like The Pastels), Everything

Track listing:

  1. Tina Weymouth
  2. Young Lovers Go Pop!
  3. (I Should Be A) Communist
  4. Number One
  5. You Don’t Need To Worry
  6. I Don’t Like You (‘Cos You Don’t Like The Pastels)
  7. Sometimes
  8. Starling
  9. That’s What Diaries Are For
  10. Everything