[Album Review] Boats- A Fairway Full of Miners
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by Tiana Feng
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Release Date: February 5th, 2013
Label: Kill Rock Stars

Weird titles appropriately describe the weird subject matter that infiltrate Boats’ third album, A Fairway Full of Miners.

While the songs may appear to have stupid titles, a closer glance at the lyrics proves them rather clever. The electro-popesque “Animated Gifts” for example uses internet memes to tell a story about aging and losing all your friends. The song has appropriate insertion of 8-bit noises as if to remind you of the gifs’ original pixel origins.

“Advice on Bears” is literally about that and remembering that bears are more afraid of you than you are of them. However, later on you also have “Advice on Bioluminescent Bears” who is illuminated because he ate some lights. “Getting Worst.jpeg” is somewhat depressing song and our depreciating selves that sounds a bit like if Blink 182 tried to do indie-pop. The previously released single “Great Skulls” sounds the most ordinary in an album full of strange.

Matt Klachefsky’s vocal style has that slightly out of tune on purpose sloppiness that displays frequently from Winnipeg artists like Cannon Bros. The album isn’t really meant to be singalongable anyway. I think Boats just wants to tell us stories through unconventional song structure and lack of choruses. It keeps the listener wondering what is coming up next and taking some unexpected turns.

Instrumentation varies through. Among these are amusing vocal harmonies, synths galore, xylophones and the occasional guitar solo. The arrangement of “O Jumbotron” makes the song sound appropriately large, like the screen it is describing.  For the Jets? What other sports teams does Winnipeg have?

Klachefsky’s vocals may be a turn off to some people, but if (are not a pretentious ass) you can get over it; A Fairway Full of Miners can prove as random and fun as its title suggests.