The Brunettes

Boyracer E.P.

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The Brunettes' 2003 release Boyracer E.P. is a little darker than their goofy, bubblepop gem Holding Hands, Feeding Ducks album from 2002. The title track is a minor key, bongo-led ballad that sounds like the smoky café scene from a Matt Helm movie, "Lovers Park" is a sparse lovelorn ballad that blends some nice surf guitar with girl group melancholia, "Vaudeville" shines the spotlight on Jonathan Bree's deadpan vocals and is another slow, sparse ballad with tons of dynamics and wacky soul. The songs that are a little cuter and sillier are still pretty downcast here; "I Miss My Coochie Coo" has some pretty heartbroken lyrics hidden behind the girly-girl chorus, "Don't Neglect Your Pet" is a sweet and sad public service announcement with bells, military drums, dueling guitars and melt-in-your-hand vocals from Heather Mansfield. Her vocals are note perfect throughout, sounding both blasé and sweet at the same time. The arrangements are clever and fun, very Brill Building-on-a-budget, and they fully show the cleverness, charm and uniqueness of the band. It is nice to see the Brunettes explore another dimension to their sound, and this disc makes a nice companion piece to their two wonderful albums.

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