WE ONLY SAID - Boring Pools

We Only Said - Boring Pools

9 songs
35:46 minutes
***** ***
Les Disques Normal / Differ-Ant


Some bands can make quite a lot of noise with only one guitar, and then there is We Only Said from Rennes in France who, despite having three guitarists in their ranks, still manage to play mesmerizingly frail music. The quintet was founded in 2007, soon released a first single, then their debut album two years later, and the second CD is scheduled to be out in very early 2015, making this my first review of an album from the new year.

Inspired by the likes of June Of 44 and Unwound, it is clear from the beginning that We Only Said behave as if the only music worth listening to came from the 1990s. This isn’t meant as a criticism, considering how the guys’ sound draws a neat bridge between indie and post rock. It is very intriguing how the band manages to deal with three guitar players, without neither culminating in noise rock crescendos nor neglecting the rhythm section. As a matter of fact, the bass guitar has a very lyrical approach to accompanying the guitars, and the drummer’s technique has the complex intricacy of jazz.

The six minute opener Dry As Dust is the longest track on this otherwise rather short album, but shows instantly what to expect from We Only Said. There is no doubt about the Nineties influence as the guitars are running around each other in melancholically mellow circles, while the bass guitar and drums are providing a steady yet rhythmically imaginative backbone. The following A Fearful And Violent Hurry may only run for a third of the time of the preceding song, and comes with an even gloomier, more plaintive atmosphere. Everything Turns Cold shows that the five musicians can occasionally even venture into regular indie rock territory, which works also very fine for them. The first seven tracks all more or less follow the same modus operandi, without falling into the trappings of monotony and predictability. The final two pieces veer off into different territory. Get Out Freaky (Alternative Version) reminds me of Radiohead by combining that band’s guitar period with its more experimental stuff later on. Killing For A Job has electronic components and shows parallels to turn of the century Notwist, making this the most futuristic song on the album.

Boring Pools is anything but boring, but frankly I wouldn’t have minded the band adding one or two of their slightly more upbeat songs. The production by Eric Orthuon and the mastering by indie rock legend Bob Weston of Shellac Fame help of course bringing out the best of We Only Said, whose second album therefore should appeal to every fan of sophisticated indie post rock.

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