Monday 17 September 2012

Boomgates: Double Natural

An Australian band release a couple of singles full of gravelly garage guitars and hooks that won't quit, then up the production values for a cleaner album. If that sounds familiar, then Boomgates have taken the same trajectory as The Twerps - with whom they share a member - but Double Natural is no Twerps part 2.

The re-recorded version of the Layman's Terms single puts Double Natural in focus: this is a record full of singles and potential pop hits. What band wouldn't kill for the artistry to write Cows Come Home, a deceptively simple song infused with power pop restraint and countrified heartache? It would have been the stand-out track on Lightships' album - itself a fine record.

Boomgates remind me of The Go-Betweens in their asethetic rather than their music (although album opener Flood Plains is a cousin to Forster's Here Comes A City). There's raw edginess next to pure pop, not least down to the switch vocals of Brendan Huntley and Steph Hughes. In fact, Hughes has got a great voice and on top of the brutally tender songs it could almost be Tracey Thorn singing with The Go-Betweens on Liberty Belle and the Black Diamond Express.

There's that aesthetic again. And it spells pure class.

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