One of the most recent bands to emerge from the British indie rock scene. The Ordinary Boys mix a fusion of indie rock and ska to create a very enjoyable sound. Their second album Brassbound was released in 2005 and has enjoyed some commercial success. The sound is slightly different then their first but this album is probably the better of the two. The new album also incorporates a horn section, piano and organ playing and even the odd bit of strings. It is a pretty consistent album throughout and shows how the band have evolved musically.
Preston-Vocals, rhythm guitar, piano & organ
William J Brown-Guitar
The album opens with Brassbound, which starts up with a short bit of piano playing and then kicks off into the main body of the song. The song it self features great guitar playing and Prestonís vocals sound at their best. It also features backing from a couple of horns. Good choice for an opening track. Boys Will Be Boys is up next. This song was the first track selected from the album to be a single, it is understandable why. The song it self is probably the most formidable ska song on the album. The intro does sound like a stereotypical ska song intro but never mind. This is probably the song where the drums do stand out, even though itís nothing special. The theme of the song is self explanatory in the title and is a reflection of the male ego. A rapper also polishes the song off. (Not the best way to end a ska song). Life Will Be The Death Of Me, was another single chosen from the album. This is probably one of the best tracks on the album. It incorporates a much more solid indie sound then the previous two songs. Strong guitar playing and great bass work. The song is a humorous look at modern lifeís futility. Thanks To The Girl, is a song about how the band have learnt from their mistakes in relationships. The tempo is bit faster here but it is still a solid song. The riff sounds much more rock orientated compared to the previous songs.
On An Island is another ska sounding song. You can really here the bell on the ride cymbal in the intro and chorus. Great guitar playing, a very catchy riff. The next song picks the speed right up. One Step Forward (Two Steps Back) is a very rock orientated song. It is also one of the best sounding songs on the album. It is about a friend who clings onto a ďvintage way of lifeĒ, and who wonít adapt to modern culture. Skull and Bones is another indie orientated song as is Donít Live To Fast. The latter being the albumís weakest track. It just doesnít have anything that stands out as well as the other songs.
The next section of the album, however, picks up from the previous few tracks. What is strange is that some of the albumís best tracks are right at the end. The next song opens with a quiet horn intro and launches into one of the best indie tracks on the album. Call To Arms, features some of the best lyrics on the album and one of its most catchy riffs. The horns play a reasonable role during this track as well. A Few Home Truths follows. (The first few seconds of the track sound strangely oriental.) It then features some of the best drumming on the album where Simon Goldring really uses the toms on the intro. Again there is a strong horn presence and this adds to the greatness of this song. The chorus is just amazing and Prestonís voice sounds superb. Rudiís In Love is a cover of a 1960s ska song. The song opens with a short extract of Here Comes The Bride played by a trumpet. The song itself is probably one of the best ska songs on the album. The ending track is one of the best on the album but is much more melancholy compared to the rest of its material. It is about someone who was recently poor but is now rich and foolishly spends their money, and who could easily go back to being poor. There is also a strong string presence in this song which adds to the effect. Great ending for a great album.
All in all a rather solid album. Most of the tracks are easy to listen to. The new ska element improves its status. The indie songs are also great. The guitar playing stands out, nearly, throughout the album. The vocals are great, and the added horn section just makes some of the songs sound outstanding. The bass and drum element successfully keep the rhythm. Overall this is a great album. The only let down are some of the tracks in the middle that donít make a huge impression. If you like these guys I suggest you buy this album.
Boys Will Be Boys
Life Will Be The Death Of Me
Call To Arms
A Few Home Truths
Red Letter Day