Boomkat Product Review:
Although The Boats have graced these pages with numerous releases and side-projects over the last few years, this amazing new album for the fledgling Home Normal label feels like their most fully-realised and essential release to date. Its also, in many ways, something of a departure for Craig Tattersall and Andrew Hargreaves, enlisting the vocal talents of Chris Stewart on three of the tracks here and managing to imbue proceedings with an almost alien mixture of submerged warehouse electronics and layered vocal pop that sounds like little else that comes to mind. Opening track "I Don't Know What I'm Gonna Do..." sets the scene with a slowed down, narcotic club session in miniature, enveloping an edgy square bassline with filtered bursts of static, sleepy handclaps and blue chords before disintegrating to a finish with little warning. "Maps of Nowhere" is up next and even more surprising, extending washes of sound and a padded kickdrum with a hazy club aesthetic that can best be compared to Move D at his most inspired. But it's "Raindrops" that's by far the most remarkable track here, starting off with Stewart's decimated vocal gradually emerging into some kind of clarity before being swept into a heaving mass of beautiful chimes, white noise and tampered beats, creating a heavenly shoegaze re-fix that we've been unable to stop listening to since the cd first landed with us earlier in the week. It's a remarkable track, and indeed a beautifully realised progression from a band that have never failed to catch our attention - now operating with a melodic depth and sonic diversity that for our money surpasses anything they've recorded to date. A beautiful album that comes massively recommended - Essential Purchase.