"Forts, (despite some bloody strong competition) has to be the LP of the month. It’s so bloody loose. But enough preparatory frothing. Let me describe this LP to you in obsessive detail. "
The Boggs – Forts
Fantastic! Forts, (despite some bloody strong competition) has to be the LP of the month. It’s so bloody loose. But enough preparatory frothing. Let me describe this LP to you in obsessive detail. The slightly menacing opener Forts is full of clicking and scratchy noises and random shouting. It’s a marvellous gateway to a frankly quite bonkers LP. Remember the Orphans takes the Fall-shout from Dead Beat Descendant and tacks on a track which is frankly all over the place; akin to a car held together with string and plaster careering wildly downhill. By contrast 3 Little Windows is a cute ode to L.O.V.E. love with slightly twee boy-girl split vocals to boot. After that we get One Year On, which is a reflective track, graced by some sharp strings and not a million miles away from Adam Green in it’s feel. So far so poppy.
Arm in Arm changes matters sonically with a glam-beat and a sludgy guitar line. It’s a sing-along drunken chain gang holler with a great brass accompaniment to boot. Following that righteous slob-fest is the wonder that is named Bookends. The upbeat pace is marvellously offset by the deadpan, slightly dissonant vocal delivery. It’s loose and it doesn’t care. Near the end things seem to be getting jiggy with a stomping beat and a great guitar feed only for the song to be stopped dead in its tracks with a quiet plinky-plonky keyboard fade-out. Brilliant. After the Day is a maudlin strum and The Passage is possibly the quietest track on the LP; a heart beat is a companied by a lonesome guitar and muffled female vocals. So I So You ups the ante once more with a restless, changeable semi-acoustic stomp. There’s really no rest for the old listener I’ll have you know.
And what’s this? Melanie in the White Coat is another marvellous sub-Fall grumble that threatens to turn into the Highland Fling now and again. If We Want (We Can) is a nervous, psychedelic shake-down lasting all of a minute. This Neanderthal clatter is followed by the brilliantly bubbly, eminently danceable Poor Things; which reminds me of the Triffids for some inexplicable reason. Holiday is a cute, muffled and very short paean to something or other. Finally we get another version of After the Day, called Heather’s Version. Not surprisingly, it’s a softer take and graced by some whispering slightly folky female vocals.
A brilliant, restless and very amusing LP. Go find.
Words: Richard Foster