erasing clouds

Boyracer, Insults and Insights EP

reviewed by dave heaton

The more recordings Boyracer releases, the more I understand how someone could become an obsessive Boyracer collector, hunting down every song and recording no matter how obscure (every last cassette, lathe cut 7", split EP and compilation track). The more I hear, the more I want to hear, and that's especially the case with Insults and Insights, a firecracker disguised as an EP.

By 'firecracker' I don't mean to suggest merely that the EP showcases the band's ability to run full steam ahead through noisy, ragged pop songs like the punk superstars that they are. They do that, certainly, but Insults and Insights also displays the diversity of their talents, their melodic sense and emotional breadth.

Lead racer Stewart Anderson is brilliant at channeling not just indignation and rebellion, but also a bittersweet feeling of longing. The EP's shining moment – indeed, one of the best songs I've heard all year – manages to tap into all of these strengths. "The Sadness in You" begins with an open-hearted line, "There's a sadness in you that may never leave…", but before that even there's a snazzy guitar part that's central to the song's infectious melodic shuffle. The song overall marries its catchy hooks to a generally uplifting sentiment, encouragement to a sad someone.

"The Second Fiddle"'s center of gravity is a bit less optimistic, containing a lot of anguish and heartbreak, which comes out both as impassioned pleas over acoustic guitar and as electric cries and screeches. In their own, beautifully messy way, Boyracer are jacks-of-all-trades, using whatever tool it takes, be it melody or feedback, to fill a song with raw, genuine feeling.


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