17f
The Boy Who Cried Wolf


4.0
excellent

Review

by Jonny Hunter CONTRIBUTOR (101 Reviews)
October 11th, 2012 | 14 replies | 1,406 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: I'm the boy who cried, wolf.

When it comes to inner states of mind, I like to agree with Max Richter’s selection of Kafka: that ‘everyone carries a room about inside them.’ If we run with this view for a while, we can see that the room inside Frederic Merk - the man behind this project - is quite a dreary place indeed. It’s isolated, first and foremost, perhaps with a single chair placed at its centre confronting a wall of naked plasterboard; with light trapped in the narrow beams that squeeze through gaps in the shutters. I’d like to think that next to the chair sat a battered old guitar and a rusty harmonica, too. A musical outlet for whatever clouds his mind.

The Boy Who Cried Wolf can therefore be viewed as the result of this outlook: it’s anti-culture, anti-conformist, anti-heroes and in general anti-everything that Merk thinks is stuffed down our throats without a second thought. Initially quite depressing - with its downtrodden monologues spotted around a dreamy blend of acoustic folk, psychedelic themes and an ambient state of mind - it’s only after tuning in to small subtleties and a permeating cynicism that the sadness becomes inescapable. At the same time, he’s painfully aware of the futility of his outlook and the experiences it has cost him: a sentiment perfectly shown in the wonderfully mysterious and confused ‘The Boy Who Cried Again,’ which takes time to depart from its spiralling, plucked guitar notes for a face-to-face admission of Merk’s flaws: ‘I’m the boy who cried wolf... who never said what needed to be said... the guy who forgot to kiss her once.’ A confession that just serves to make it all worse.

So what is The Boy Who Cried Wolf, then? A reflection of the past or a warning for the future? I’d be surprised if Merk knew, to be honest, but he does supply plenty to think about. The harmonica-backed Scottish tones in ‘A Second Chance’ attacks the notion that ‘we’re the lucky ones,’ in such a heart-wrenchingly broken way that it’s able to be deeply moving without moving anywhere close to preachy. ‘Asshole’ is an entirely different and more bitter story, as well as being slightly more straightforward in its approach as it acknowledges the futility of many ‘great’ accomplishments, sadly (in a bad way this time) marking a bit of a low point for the record.

The real strength of the album, however, lies more in the music itself than in the ideas it tries to convey. After what can only be a ‘Happy New Year’ to himself, ‘Unbedingt’ follows up with a rich, almost post-rock interlude with layers of guitars and scratched, incomprehensible vocal samples that builds up to a chime-led peak. It’s utterly beautiful, especially as in the context of the album it strikes us as an acceptance of sorts for Merk’s view of the world. Elsewhere the album brings a mixed bag of folk-come-country jams and short ambient hums, all fulfilling the same, mellow purpose of providing a contemplative yet rustic atmosphere. It’s evident that Merk prefers to hint at feelings instead of explicitly describing them, such as ‘Gimme Some Booze,’ which combines a simple, laid back country guitar with a slow chant of the title. A description of giving up against the world told only in three (or four if you can’t accept the abbreviation) words.

It’s rare that an album in this segment of the musical spectrum goes so far out of its way to be sad, but the marriage of obvious depression and subtle reinforcement ends up being far more powerful than we could have hoped. The Boy Who Cried Wolf doesn’t overdo it, however, as it mixes in plenty of apathy, beauty and self-awareness too, so it’s always a bit of a surprise how bleak the album can really be. This isn’t an album for everyone, but then again when could it ever be? It’s an album’s worth of time-out for anyone who wants to break out of their routine and relax into a detached, sad and empty room; with a chair in the centre and only small shards of light reaching in from outside.



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user ratings (2)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
October 11th 2012



2687 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Originally posted at http://www.muzikdizcovery.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/17f/209686955734510?fref=ts
Stream: http://17fmusic.bandcamp.com/

This record rules.


clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
October 11th 2012



6250 Comments


This seems something I'd enjoy.

Digging: Trophy Scars - Holy Vacants

FelixCulpa
October 11th 2012



1236 Comments


Giles Corey huh, will check it out.

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
October 11th 2012



2687 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hopefully. Just found out this LP was mastered by Nils Fraum, which is kind of cool.

CaptainDooRight
October 11th 2012



26549 Comments


dam I luv ur rev's, pos'd

Digging: Deniro Farrar - The Patriarch II

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
October 11th 2012



3029 Comments


Really nice review Jonny, pos. I've gotta check this out, it looks awesome

Digging: Todd Terje - It's Album Time

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
October 11th 2012



2687 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Danke schune. yarrrrrrr /drunk

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
October 12th 2012



30316 Comments


All I could think of while reading this was Streetlight's soundoff for The Age of Adz

Digging: L'Orange - The Orchid Days

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
October 12th 2012



2687 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Never read it.

mindleviticus
October 12th 2012



7942 Comments


What's up, Jonny? Good review. Don't really want to check this out, but seems interesting. The cover looks pretty cool.

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
October 13th 2012



7245 Comments


Not really sure what I make of this. It's an interesting one that's for sure. I'll give it a few more listens before rating.

Excellent review.

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
October 14th 2012



2687 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Not much, man. Just kicking it at uni over the weekend with the girlfriend, you?

I think you might be able to get into it, but then again it's your decision :P

Thanks ali/ Jake. Need to review more though.

CaptainDooRight
October 24th 2012



26549 Comments


cool al

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
November 23rd 2012



2687 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

and it's now free - go check dat bandcamp link in the first comment.



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