Boy Mandeville – Mo Skrib EP

Boy Mandeville - Mo Skrib cover. Long-term readers of Nostalgia For Infinity may remember London’s Boy Mandeville from last June when I reviewed their single, Christina/Raisin Snake. The four-piece have now returned with a self-released 4-track EP, titled Mo Skrib. What’s the title a reference to? Buggered if I know: I’ve got no theories this time around.

Anyway, the songs on this EP certainly fit the summery popĀ bill just as well as last year’s single did, if not more so. There’s a vibe to this record that I can only describe as tropical. What that means, in practice, I can’t say (hats with fruit on them? Palm trees and blue sands? Colourful fish?), but I’ll take a stab and back it up by describing this EP as cheerful, playful and something that wouldn’t be out of place at a British beach party, if Britain’s beaches enjoyed genuinely hot weather for longer than approximately four minutes.

The first track, ‘Steel Horse’, and second, ‘Bad Balance Tango’, set the tone well, with deft guitar picks over an ass-shaking rhythm section and whimsical lyrics delivered in an easy-going vocal style. The latter is a little more laid-back than its energetic predecessor – a slow dance, if you will – although towards the end it kicks things up a few gears for a stomping finale.

‘Canopies’ is a bit of a weirder number, its rhythm off-kilter yet still catchy. The drums hang about mostly at the top of the kit, complete with cowbell, and the band throw in some keys for good measure. This is followed by ‘Hives’ which starts off at a sedate piece, but it’s not long before those familiar catchy rhythms segue back in, equal parts British indie pop and xth-wave afrobeat.

Mo Skrib is a fun EP and another able demonstration of Boy Mandeville’s talents; although there are other bands pursuing similar lines of musical fusion, I’m not aware of any who do it with an equal level of infectious cheer. I am reservedly keen to see what the band produce when they eventually put out a full-length – whilst I’ve faith in their musical skills, songwriting nous and general attitude, I do wonder if they may in the future find that their bag of tricks runs low. But that’s neither here nor there; if you’re fed up waiting for summer to get here, stick on some shades, fix up a rum and coke and stickĀ Mo Skrib on.

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