Tuesday 22 January 2013

Jacob Morris - Bolierplate

Album review by kev@thesoundofconfusion.co.uk

Jacob Morris describes himself as a hobbyist musician from Australia. He plays a few instruments but mainly he writes and produces stuff. Subsequently this album is a name-your-price download and maybe a bit of a showcase of a few bits and bobs he's been working on lately, possibly with a view to hooking up with musical collaborators. Does this mean we shouldn't take 'Boilerplate' seriously? Well maybe; you certainly wouldn't take this as as much of a musical statement as the next album Arcade Fire or whoever, although it's been put forward as a collections of songs for us to review so we'll do so as we would anything else, but maybe with these facts at the back of our minds.

It's interesting to note that pioneering computer company Atari have entered administration this week, a lot of the tracks that make up this album sound like they were written by some 8-bit programmer. As an experiment I listened to 'Boilerplate' while falling asleep. Firstly, the hectic, high-tempo nature of some tracks made the experience quite difficult, secondly in a semi-lucid state it does sound a bit like you've become trapped in a retro computer game at some points. 'Harmless Minor' fits this description, 'Your Time Is Ticking' actually sounds like it was made for a game, 'Annette Birkin', after a quick Google search, turns out to be a character from 'World Of Warcraft', 'The End', naturally sounds like the end of a game.

When he steps back from this approach and moves away from these basic, hyper electronic bleeps, bloops and squiggles the outcome is equally as fun but much easier to take seriously and generally yields better results all round. 'Vanadium' and 'Jaws Of Life' sit perched between the two worlds, but the atmospheric 'Ritual' and 'Locked' move away from this format a tad and are better for it. 'Sea Of Blood' brings in some vocals and the variety is welcome. The novelty of being reminded how jealous you were of the kid in your class who was the first to get a Sega Mega Drive wears off after a while, but strip that away and there are the raw ingredients of something more substantial to be found on 'Boilerplate'.

Jacob Morris' website

Stream or download the album

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