At long last, some honest indie rock rolls around and it comes from the great white north, of all places. Laughed the Boy‘s style is guitar driven, easy to enjoy and edgy. They’ve had some time to nail their sound so it’s very refined and professional. That, coupled with the production quality makes this a record that will definitely yield some recognition.
Most of their music was created by singer, guitarist and bassist Chris Panacci and were brought to fruition with help from his brother Sean who plays drums on the recordings. Their goal, according to a press release, was to create “honest and unpretentious 90’s nostalgia inspired songs,” and it’s safe to say that’s a mission accomplished. The brothers recorded a few albums together and soon after brought bassist Brennan Hrehoruk on board so they could perform their creations live. During rehearsals, they created several new songs that will be released as a full album on February 10.
There’s a few key tracks that listeners should look into that will quickly help them decide if this is their cup of tea, and “Autumn” is the best place to start. The tone is fairly melancholy, with chord progressions that don’t seem to flow together nicely, but somehow work perfectly. It’s a bit like anti-pop (pop meaning popular music in general) but their sound is natural and doesn’t come across as ostentatious. Instead, listeners get the sense that the songs are inspired and genuine. In other words, it doesn’t feel like they listened to a four chord pop/rock song and say, “let’s do the opposite of that.”
They created something that comes across as a real expression of themselves. “Autumn” is definitely the least aggressive track and is more dainty with most of the attitude coming from a lightly distorted guitar solo found at the tail end of the song. Laughed the Boy’s music is very reminiscent of the Pixies’ “Where Is My Mind” but a little more brushed up and refined. This is definitely true when compared to “Bell Rock” and “I Sold Out For This.”
Another key track is “Warm Hands Cold Feat.” It sounds very much like Ben Folds without the piano, which isn’t a bad sound for them, but it most likely won’t be a direction they will go with on future records. It’s a little too airy and lighthearted for them, but it’s definitely one that people will enjoy. It’s a nice segue into the realm of indie/punk/rock because it can be very hit or miss with listeners. Many of their other songs sound pretty similar, like “Double Down” and “Trip Down the Gold Mine.” They’re well done, but the works mentioned before are definitely ones to be looked into first.
This is a great album for those interested in delving into the world of indie rock. The name of the genre brings to mind a sound of angst and pretentiousness which can push people away, but if listeners dig deep enough they can find groups like Laughed the Boy that create quality work that’s fun and addictive.
The album drops Friday, February 10th. Listeners can find singles from the new album on their Soundcloud account.
Key Tracks: Autumn, Bell Rock, I Sold Out For This, Warm Hands Cold Feat