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“Coron O Chwinc” by BOI

BOI is a Wales based Indie Rock act, who has just completed their milestone debut album. It is as traditional as can be, with all song titles and lyrics in strict Welsh dialect. Funny enough, the band cites mostly American based influences, with the exception of the mighty Badfinger. Coron O Chwinc is a 10 song LP, that covers as much musical ground as possible. It’s as solid of a debut, as a band can hope for.

“Tragwylddoldeb” is a piano ballad that is something of a callback to the Classic Rock days. The band delivers it unironically, and Lead Singer, Rhodri Sion, really pours himself into the performance. Considering the rest of the tone of the album, this one comes as a bit of a surprise. It actually seems like a nod to the band’s root influences, and honestly, the Rock ballad is a bit of a lost art. We can only thank BOI for breathing life back into some of those old standards.

We get a slightly different vocal approach from Sion on “Cwcw Cloc.” It’s nothing drastic, but the singer flexes his falsetto for this up tempo number. Style is a major theme for BOI, as they love to combine meaningful arrangements with a stylistic strut. The band achieves more of a fullness here, and the engineer opts for more of an inclusive sound, than an individualized one. This track would have been a great addition to a Guy Ritchie film.

“Lladd Amser” has a bit of The Faces in its flavor, and perhaps even a hint of Bowie. You could even go as far as saying this one could have fit nicely into the 70’s Glam explosion. At first, it seems we are getting more of the same Indie Pop stylings from other songs on the record, until things shift into a big and bright chorus. Sion sings his heart out on this section, and is well supported by the rest of the band. This track is placed in the penultimate spot, which was probably wise, considering what closes out the album.

While not a work of perfection, Coron O Chwinc is an inspired and zealous effort. The band shows the ability to be diverse, but disciplined, and could possibly write an album’s worth of hits in the future. I get the feeling that they will be a little more experimental as time goes by, but Coron O Chwinc will be their Pablo Honey, if that is the case. There is tremendous synergy and functionality in BOI, and at least at this point, there don’t seem to be any hidden agendas, or favored aspects. They feel and sound like a tight knit unit. If you are a fan of 90’s style Indie Rock, with a strong European presence, then you should definitely check out Coron O Chwinc.

John McCall

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