Album Review: Absolute Boys, Heavy Flow

Consisting of members from now defunct local acts Ohana and Eucalypt, Melbourne trio Absolute Boys have recently dropped an experimental gem, with their debut album Heavy Flow.Combining repetitive drumbeats with dreamy pop vocals and danceable rhythms, the record takes you on an almost hypnotic journey, through some exotic sunlit wilderness. It has a natural ebb and flow, with tracks individually building to a climax and then slowly simmering into a minimalistic beat. Overall, an uplifting feel encompasses the entire album, which puts the listener into a positive mood instantly.The subtle division between the first and second half of Heavy Flow makes it even more intriguing, with the former focusing on instrumentation and the latter spotlighting vocalist Will Farrier’s abilities.“Old Dub” starts out the expedition with strong drumming and luring vocals, leading the way into “Love Mode” which quickly lifts the mood with its fast-paced noisy pop, much like an Animal Collective track.Midway “China Heights” offers a unique tune and is a definite highlight. While it is experimental, it does not cross into alienating territory; it is a playful dance track with subdued riffs, heaps of precise layering and harmonious overlapping vocals.The shining star, however, is “Haze”. Released as a single in 2012 long before the record, the track has already become a staple in the band’s repertoire. Much darker than other songs on the album, it has a constant driving beat and an almost spiritualistic bell tone sounding in the chorus. It’s an intoxicating dance track you could easily find yourself moving to and a great gateway into the vocally driven “Executive Realness”, a fun and fresh indie track which showcases Farrier’s voice clearly.Closing track “At Last” builds upon previous sound to come to an appropriate summation of the entire album. It cuts on drawn-out vocals that seem to just disappear into the atmosphere like an echo in a valley. Talk about leaving you hanging and wanting more.The only thing that is even slightly disappointing about this record is the fact that it only lasts a half hour, because once you’re listening, you don’t really want to stop. The band’s passion for unique arrangements shines, and it is refreshing to see musicians unafraid to push boundaries—definitely a stellar piece of work.by Radhika Chopra

April 22nd 2013
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