John Boyle’s new CD, Spinout, is a big ‘un, loaded with 28 short songs. Yup, SONGS. Unlike Boyle’s previous releases, which range from a 5 disc meditative drone suite to solo flute, this is a Thinking Fellers-style cramming of dozens of ideas into bite-sized chunks, all possessed with the sonic glory of classic lo-fi 4-trackisms.
After a noise-harmonica (?!) intro, Spinout kicks into gear with valley echo, baritone voice intoning above an aptly shambling rhythm section full of auxiliary percussion. In short succession bits of dark psychedelia and ‘90s indie rock creep into the tunes.
Many songs revolve around a single repeated lyric, which, combined with the tin can reverb featured throughout, casts an almost ritualistic aspect to the proceedings. This repetition is used to maximum effect early on in “Jennifer”, an outlier in terms of its expansive length, but a template for things to come – full stereo spectrum engaged in a swirling, infinite chorus of “she wants to play with me.”
When Boyle sings “let’s go for a drive” over jangling guitars, I’m reminded of pop-psych band Velvet Monkeys. Elsewhere things get spacey enough to be confused for bedroom shoegaze. Some of the weirder, disjointed pieces recall ‘90s model Red Krayola.
Mixed in with gorgeous and spare pop tunes are plenty of fun lo-fi experiments. These occur in intervals and proportions that manage to compliment each other, quite the feat when considering Boyle had to properly sequence a 28 track album.
With so many songs spread across the album’s 60 minutes, Spinout could have proven impenetrable. Yet there rises the notion this music inhabits a singular space, one outside of time and inviting to those willing to listen.
– Bob Bucko, Jr.
[I am presently unable to find evidence of this wonderful disc online – hunt down Boyle himself; or email us here at Ruix, we’ll figure it out for ya]