Boku No Sundeita MacHi

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There is something nice about content matching the description, even if the latter promises no great wonders. Case in point: Boku No Sundeita Machi, a 2-disc "B-sides best album," or a collection of outtakes that never made it to Quruli's regular albums, with a few new songs blended in for good measure. It's hard to imagine this release to be anything other than a mixed bag of oddities, experiments and stylistic detours, and Boku No Sundeita Machi is just that, except for the experiments part, because the band's sound doesn't leave much place for those. Roughly speaking, the core sound here is blues-rooted, swaggering rock that tethers on the brink of rockabilly, but has too much of alternative rock's shine and polish to really qualify for that or for garage rock, traces of which can also be found within -- close maybe to proto-grunge in the Temple of the Dog vein, but not as powerful. But this is only the departure point; the record also has purely acoustic numbers that sound like perfect lullabies for an exhausting, but sunny day, '60s pop throwbacks, larger-than-life semi-ballads, U2 homages, restaurant jazz, tongue-in-cheek stabs at industrial metal and God knows what else. Now and then, some song shines through as a potential lost hit, but for the most part, it isn't hard to see why these cuts were B, not A-sides. It's not that the contents of Boku No Sundeita Machi are really substandard, but most numbers here just come across as lighthearted afterthoughts -- songwriting sketches, not actual tunes. This, as well as the album's extensive duration (to put it mildly), gives the record the feel of a garage sale of rock music -- a nice sale that is bound to offer something to anyone's liking, if you take care to dig through stuff on display long enough, but still a bargain offer. But then again, this is exactly what the album is supposed to be.

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