Small Town Boredom – Notes From The Infirmary

Paisley’s Small Town Boredom are finally set to release the follow up to their debut record ‘Autumn Might Have Hope.’  The new record will be released through Trome Records and entitled ‘Notes From The Infirmary.’  All I can really say is thank goodness for that!

I’ve been sitting on this record for far, far, far too long and have been holding back my review of it for what seems like forever now.   So long, in fact, that when I told Fraser I wasn’t sure about whether I’d keep the blog going he was gutted as I’d promised to review the record.   I also have an interview with him from way back, which has been sitting waiting to be posted online near the time of release.   Hopefully that will see the light of day soon.

Put simply, I have to write about this record and this band.  I just cannot sit back and let this great record go unnoticed, which I fear may be the case.  And if it is the case it would be a real tragedy as this record is as good, if not better, as anything I’ve heard released this year in Scotland.  That comment will undoubtedly cause a few rumbles and grumbles amongst you all but the simple truth is that this record has been brilliantly thought out and executed.  I guarantee had Arab Strap released this the plaudits would come thick and fast. 

I think the genuine reason for this record’s success is simple.  It’s only 6 tracks in length, proving that quantity is never as important as quality.  I remember when the Strokes debut ‘Is This It?’ was released way back when, what struck me was that the brilliance of the record was not each individual track but the length of the record as a whole.  30 minutes, or thereabouts.  10 more minutes and I think the record would have been ruined.  The type of music, the lack of a change in pace and intensity, just couldn’t cope with more.  In truth, The Strokes nailed it.   They got it spot on.  Well, though this record is a million light years away from the sound of The Strokes, the same rule has been applied.  Were this record to have 10 minutes more music on it I just don’t think it would have the impact it does.  Where debut ‘Autumn Might Have Hope’ clocked in at 14 tracks, this record is short, succinct and the overall impact benefits from this very fact.   Whilst sometimes its predecessor, though stunningly beautiful in places, lost focus and felt overly long, this record is clearly the product of songwriters who have matured, grown in stature and know exactly what they want to achieve.  8 songs less than the record before yet double the impact in the process is quite the achievement.  This is an assured, confident piece of work and does leave you longing for more.  Whether we get more, time will tell.

Lets face it, this is mood music.  If you pick this up in your inbox or at a record store and fire it on the stereo on a bright summers day whilst you enjoy an ice cream, you’re probably not going to get this at all.  If you listen on a dark night, with the rain on the windows and a glass of red wine in hand, you’re going to get it big time.

‘Void Lighting’ is quite simply one of the most wonderful songs of 2010 and ‘World’s Most Unwanted’ and ‘Moments For Denial’ are not far behind in the brilliance stakes.  Aidan and Malcolm may have left an opening for the title of ‘Miserablist Kings of Scotland’ and had Small Town Boredom had more attention in the past I’m sure they’d have grabbed it without contest.  It’s just a shame more folk have not discovered them.  Now’s the chance.  Grab yourself a copy of ‘Notes From The Infirmary’.  Check out Small Town Boredom here.  Enjoy.


8 thoughts on “Small Town Boredom – Notes From The Infirmary

  1. Looks like we’re not going to agree on much over the coming months, but on this i think can whole heartedly back you up.

    i’ve had this in my possession for the past 4-5 months, and is the perfect tonic for the hot summer days where you just want to sit there stare out the window, escape and forget it all.

    This is one of the albums that, if you call yourself a lover of music, you must have in your collection.

    Well done Fraser!

  2. I can see what you mean about being mood music and I suppose I’ve never been in the right mood/frame of mind when I’ve listened to it.

    I found it dead frustrating because I just wanted something, anything remotely interesting to happen and it never really came. Thus leaving me very disappointed.

    I can, however, see me eventually being in the right mood and it just clicking. That happened with a whole bunch of my favourite albums/EPs. Here’s hoping.

  3. Ian – I have to admit that saying you couldn’t find anything “interesting” happening with this record, to me anyways, is a bit like saying “Euan, I’m sorry, I don’t have ears”…….what’s wrong with you?! Fair enough, if you don’t like the music. But there are so many “interesting” things happening on this record. Re-attach your ears and give it a proper listen….

  4. What’s wrong with me?! I was simply giving my opinion. Nothing grabs me about it, apart from the song ‘World’s Most Unwanted’ which I liked due to the rather patient and rewarding build up. The rest has the build up but not so much reward, which is why I found it a wee bit frustrating. It just never hit as hard and I was kinda left waiting. Maybe I misplaced my ears?!

  5. Hahaha. I was only winding you up mate. Sorry!

    Your points are fair enough. I just don’t hear it the way you do I guess. I don’t think it’s about build up with STB to be honest and I think the reward is pretty immediate if you listen at the right time and in the right mood.

    I mean, Fraser gave me a record by an artist called Sunslide. It’s 1 track and it lasts 25 minutes. It’s most defintely mood music and I wouldn’t listen to it if I was going for a run for example.

    I think with a lot of music you have to be in the right place or mindset to listen. Or I do. That certainly applies to Small Town Boredom so I can understand why people don’t always immediately get it.

  6. Exactly. As I’ve said I reckon I will stick this on one day and it will just click and it will become a favourite, the type of record that if you give it time and respect it will pay you back in the long run. Which, in some way, is far better than the instant hit of a more straight-forward and less moody track.

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