A dozen years into his recording career, Boyracer leader Stewart Anderson and his revolving door of bandmates have their sonic aesthetic down pat, to the extent that their albums are almost beyond reviewing. Anyone who has heard a couple of earlier Boyracer records already knows pretty much what Absence Makes the Heart Grow Harder sounds like. The only question is how well Anderson has done with his formula this time out, and in fact, Absence Makes the Heart Grow Harder is an excellent example of the Boyracer sound. Indeed, this brief, 12-track album is Boyracer stripped down to its purest essence, featuring 11 short, sharp blasts of primo fuzz-pop and one-up-yours annoyance, in the six-minute feedback-and-noise instrumental "Fuck Clapton, Fuck Hendrix." That deliberately irritating album closer aside, Absence Makes the Heart Grow Harder consists entirely of two-minutes-or-under slices of terse, nervy C-86-inspired U.K. indie pop built around Anderson's winsome, affect-free vocals and fuzz guitar. Even the two acoustic songs, "Where to Place Yr Trust" and "Fire Engine," buzz along for their allotted 60 seconds or so, pumped full of Anderson's trademark blend nervous energy and drop-dead cool. Nothing new, then, but erstwhile fans who lost track of Boyracer after their brief period of high visibility in the '90s thanks to their association with the beloved Sarah Records can dive right into songs like "That Boy Yr with Is a Dick" and "Foxyboy" like it's 1993 all over again.
Abscence Makes the Heart Grow Harder Review
by Stewart Mason