A Punch Up the Bracket

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"Sweet and sour" applies to great pop music as much as that mysterious sauce common to certain Chinese restaurants, and Boyracer offer that aural blend of delicious hooks and savory guitar bashing in spades on their 2005 album A Punch Up the Bracket. With Boyracer founder and leading light Stewart Anderson firmly relocated to Arizona these days, A Punch Up the Bracket sounds a shade less "English" than some of their earlier material, but Anderson's knack for short and fast bits of punky pop joined him for the trip across the Atlantic, and most of the 21 songs here bring the rock with joyous concision. At the same time, numbers like the spare and spidery "No Tears" and the laid-back mood piece "Perennial Underdog" show there's a welcome variety in the group's approach, and A Punch Up the Bracket's D.I.Y.-sounding production is simple but serves the band quite well (especially the scrappy guitar tones). And how about a hand for the rhythm section, who sound solid but comfortably unpretentious throughout? After more than 15 years in the game, Anderson's songs are still the work of a man in love with indie pop and on this album, Boyracer's musical romance hasn't started to let him down just yet; if only a few more people would give him a listen.

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