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  • Add Junior Boys to your favourites
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1 review | 9 people love this record: be the 10th!

Junior Boys haven’t released a full-length album for half a decade: a good length of time in which to carefully construct a very strong brace of soulful synth-pop songs. Big Black Coat has a sleeve straight out of the 80’s, and there is an aspect of that in the style of the sound. But the production also has an unmistakably modern stamp on it (well, post-2000 at least). On City Slang.


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REVIEWS

Big Black Coat by Junior Boys
1 review. Add your own review.
9 people love this record. Be the 10th!
7/10 Clinton Staff review, 02 February 2016

I’m not sure if it’s the excitement of having a new label having shifted from Domino to City Slang but Junior Boys sound revitalised on the first couple of tracks on this debut for the latter imprint. Their textbook electronica and haunting vocals remain as intact as they’ve ever been but opener ‘You Say That’ is rather vibrant and has a chorus that is pop friendly without being blindly aiming for iPhone speakers.

Other than this slight lift of mood it’s business as usual and that's no bad thing. It’s quite incredible that Junior Boys are now on their 5th album, ‘C’mon Baby’ (what a title!) is a typical Junior Boys composition  - aching electronics bleat away under crestfallen vocals, it climaxes with a massive fart of synth. I’ve always thought Junior Boys are so much less effective when they head into dance floor territory and ‘Baby Give Up on it’ (that ‘baby' again) is a light piece of fluff that lacks the yearning that makes their earlier work so affecting . ‘M&P’ too has a rather high BPM and some seriously cheesy synths. Elsewhere, ‘No-one’s business’ is weirdly twice as quiet as the rest of the record which I just can't get my head around, ‘What You Won’t Do For Love’ is the bloopiest thing I’ve heard all year and sounds like Prefab Sprout gone acid.

It’s tracks like this that convinces me that there is still a place for Junior Boys in this topsy turvy world but as other tracks slide by without making much impression and I note a third track with ‘baby’ in the title, there are hints of inspiration waning. I would have happily put my mortgage on closer and title track 'Big Black Coat' being the best thing here and indeed it is. Over pulsing beats, synths pick out gorgeous chords with a repetitive and nagging vocal hook reminds you to forget all about the so-so tracks that have gone before.    




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