The Exploding Boy - Four
The days are drawing in and we’re moving inevitably into Autumn. Almost like they knew, Stockholm’s The Exploding Boy have created an ideal soundtrack to this change in the seasons. The independent band have released the album Four which matches the darkness and fading light of Autumn but also it’s energy. Across the album The Exploding Boy are sometimes moody, sometimes reflective and occasionally volatile.
Cracked – Reasons opens the Swedish four piece’s release. A scuzzy guitar riff is soon joined by determined drumming and a strong bass line. The track’s dark sound is completed by well-placed synths and lyrics that dwell on the darker side of love. A guitar solo helps to cement the interaction between organic and synthetic sounds, as it goes on to take an increasingly warm quality. The sound of The Exploding Boy draws on the darker side of life but is still capable of supporting moments of passion and creativity. Seen in Cracked – Reasons, this is also present in Street Cliché. Dark and atmospheric synths dominate the track as the vocals reach a passionate crescendo in the chorus and at the conclusion of Street Cliché.
The Exploding Boy manage to create a range of textures within their synth led rock and it’s shady tones. These range from the big and adventurous sound of Going to Hell with it’s expansive synths to the mellow and calm approach of Get It Out with it’s subtle but creative guitar work. The driven element of The Exploding Boy is showcased in tracks such as Dark City Pt. 2 and Shadows. Dark City Pt. 2 comes in on strong bass and drum lines before a restrained guitar riff joins. As this wave of sound breaks however it picks up a sense of urgency and energy. This City sees a different vocalist taking the reins, adding a moodier quality to the music. Shadows caries a heightened sense of alarm as soon as it begins thanks to tense guitar and piano riffs, before breaking into an up-tempo and atmospheric verse. The guitars and vocals turn up the energy as they create more tension as they surge into the chorus.
Runaways catches The Exploding Boy in an anthemic mood. Introduced with acoustic guitars a persistent beat and big synth line gradually build into a melodic and mellow beast before reaching that first hooky and powerful chorus. The guitar takes on an electric edge and the track shifts up a gear as the big chorus makes a second appearance and ‘It’s all right here in the moment’ hooks into your brain. Growing and growing, one final chorus sees Runaway fade away gently.
Scared to Death closes Four. This purposeful track uses several layers to deliver it’s sound as it fuses synths and light guitar and talks about ‘destination darkness’. Building and building it ends suddenly, leaving nothing but a heartbeat to fill the album’s last seconds of sound.
Four by The Exploding Boy is an intelligent and creative collection of songs that will continue to throw up new sounds listen after listen. Watch out for The Exploding Boy next year on their European Tour.