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Album Review: BOI. “Coron O Chwinc”

Coron O Chwinc is the debut album by Wales based group, BOI. They are a 5 piece act, who are devoted to representing their culture and their region with uncompromising authenticity. There is not a single word of English, uttered in their lyrics, and their song titles, are going to send many listeners on a round trip to Google. What truly matters is the quality of their music, and this is about an auspicious of a debut as one can offer. BOI gives us 10 tracks of diverse material, with mature songwriting and exceptional musicianship.

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Coron O Chwinc, opens with Heidio Mae’R Locustiaid,” which was a wise choice. It sets a perfect tone for the record, with a big burst of energy from the intro. Imagine if Oasis were formed in Orange County, CA, and they were fronted by a Welsh singer, and you get the idea for this one. This song is so bright, you can see it in the dark. With Indie Pop guitars, and disciplined harmonies, “Heidio Mae’r Locustiaid” is destined to be one of the album’s most memorable moments.

Twil Dan Staer” is a relatively major departure from the rest of Coron O Chwinc.” At first, you get the impression that someone in the group developed a Depeche Mode fixation at some point in time. It’s around the chorus, that this one kicks into a gear, that I didn’t realize BOI was capable of possessing, until this section. The guitars leap into a crunchy tone, that is rare to capture, but impossible to resist. Seriously, this track absolutely rocks, and there are all sorts of subtle touches along the way that make it quite possibly the album’s crescendo.

It’s still somewhat astonishing that this is the band’s debut effort. Even some of histories great debuts, got by on pure grit and energy. Coron O Chwinc is a focused and concise record, with an obvious understanding of studio process. The band sounds seasoned, yet inspired, and quite frankly, it’s an uncommon combination to find. As a result, we get an extremely motivated offering from BOI.

Ddim Ym Sant” is essentially bubblegum pop, with an edge. It also boasts one of the most well written choruses, you’ll hear. I found this one to be irresistible, and it really shows the compositional capability and wisdom of the band. There’s not an ounce of wasted sound on “Ddim Ym Sant.” The guitars are perfectly placed into the mix, at the ideal volume and intensity for a song with so much swing.

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It’s hard to argue that this is one of the most noteworthy debuts in some time. American audiences won’t be sure what to make of BOI, but they can also be sure not to deny them. Great music is just that, and BOI has released 10 good to great songs on Coron O Chwinc. There is not a modicum of filler on this record, and how often can you truly say that? This album has firmly reminded us, that even the most unexpected regions of Western Europe, still knows how to rock with the best of them.

Mark Ryan

About Michael Stover

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