Trips & Falls – He Was Such a Quiet Boy
Let’s do the criticisms first, shall we, because they are simple and easily tackled. Basically, I think this album is too long. It weighs in at thirteen songs and just under fifty minutes, and I really feel that three songs could have been trimmed from the track listing, to leave what I would honestly descibe as being as good a debut as I’ve heard since I heard Pissing on Bonfires/Kissing With Tongues for the first time.
Jacob’s voice is simply lovely, and for the most part he delivers simple pop songs, tinged with a little wistfulness and bordering on twee. It’s not that simple though, because half of this album takes that model and subverts it, to the point that some of the songs are downright bizarre. You Should Really Get Yours is superb, and so far from being a pop song it’s silly. It works well within the context of the album though, because the whole record shifts on this spectrum, back and forth from the disturbing to the gentle, and this song sets a marker at the far end of the scale.
Even the sweeter tunes on here often have a certain faux-naivety that is mildly unsettling. Sometimes it’s the flat, impassive vocals, like the smile of a scary child’s toy, sometimes the slightly too crackly rumble of a guitar, sometimes the skittery, off-beat drumming.
Basically, there is a five-song passage in the middle of this record, from In Real Life He Wears Corduroy Pants through to Prelude to a Shark Attack, that is utterly, spell-bindingly brilliant. After that, the variation tails off a little and although there are still some truly excellent songs, I get the impression a couple could happily be trimmed, resulting in a tight, near perfect record from a group I have never heard mention of before or since. It is worth noting, of course, that there could be some very good reasons for how this album has been put together, and I really could just be treading on toes it’s not my place to tread on.
Irrespective of this little whinge, He Was Such a Quiet Boy is a superb album, and I strongly urge you to go and buy one immediately.
Trips & Falls – And in Real Life He Wears Corduroy Pants
Trips & Falls – Damaged Goods