Junior Boys // Big Black Coat

Categories:  Music    Music Reviews
Wednesday, February 17th, 2016 at 1:10 PM
Junior Boys // Big Black Coat by Matt Swanseger

Junior Boys

Big Black Coat

City Slang Records

4.5/5 stars

Machines have driven both the pop and indie circuits for so long that it’s easy to forget the human element behind all the circuit-bending. The Junior Boys’ fifth album is a welcome reminder of the depths synthesized music can reach – without necessarily blowing out your subwoofers. Through their reliance on vintage equipment and slightly under-polished production, the Canadian duo convincingly revives the sounds of electronica’s past without forgoing their sense of self. Synth-pop, Detroit techno, Chicago house, minimalism, and IDM are all referenced here – but binding it all together are the unassuming vocals of the brilliantly-bearded Jeremy Greenspan, which hold up even after extensive clipping and processing (the exquisitely-layered “Over It”). Other highlights include the acid-washed, New Order-inflected cover of Bobby Caldwell’s “What You Won’t Do For Love,” the bittersweet (vaguely Todd Rundgren-ish) aside “Baby Don’t Hurt Me,” and the ominous drone of title track. From start to finish, Big Black Coat consistently delivers opportunities to get nostalgic about the future. – Matt Swanseger

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