The Boo Radleys

Ichabod & I

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The Boos' first album was never officially reissued or reprinted after its initial low-level release, while the band consistently downplayed it in later years, describing Ichabod as being little more than rough early sketches by Dinosaur Jr. wannabes. While there's no question Ichabod is thoroughly derivative of J. Mascis and other musicians besides, by no means is it a disaster -- in fact, it's quite entertaining, good fun. Just under half an hour long, its eight songs rip right along through mountains of feedback, buried-but-still-there melodies and Sice's sweet vocalizing. Sometimes the production is astoundingly murky, but whether the low roar of "Hip Clown Rag," for one, is meant to sound like that or just simply an accident is a mystery. Carr and Sice's combined guitar work is actually well along its way to achieving the heights of later releases, with shuddering solos, acoustic/electric mixes and strange pauses, stops and starts breaking up what might otherwise be a general if not generic indie-pop rush at points. Various flecks of the Boos' incipient talents crop up throughout -- the lovely vocal arrangement on the chorus of "Catweazle" (named after a legendary British TV kids' show character) is a clear sign, though the nuclear-strength guitar distortion Carr ends the song with is as distinct. "Walking 5th Carnival" stands out for its initially restrained sound and crisp, hip-hop tinged drumwork. One song from Ichabod actually ended up being rerecorded later -"Kaleidoscope," which though shorter and rougher sounding here still has the great combination of grit and soar from the more familiar version.

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