Greg Boring have arrived as if from nowhere (in fact, Brisbane, Australia) to baffle and beguile in equal measure. “We have no recollection of recording this,” claim the mysterious, interview-averse sextet on the sleeve of their debut album, but that’s more symptomatic of the fugue state brought on by their hypnotic and wonky electronica, than suggestive of drug-addled hours spent locked in a bedroom studio.
That said, Heavy Syrup is a determinedly lo-fi affair that celebrates mechanized drum beats, the plinking of a Casio, wheezy analogue electronics and the retro-futurist possibilities of the Moog. But behind its deliberate primitivism lurks a serious art-pop aesthetic, combining Kraftwerk’s motorik grooves with the giallo soundscapes of Broadcast, The Residents’ weird-beard adventurism and David Lynch and Alan Splet’s soundtrack to Eraserhead. Its apparent playfulness, too, masks a distinct feeling of unease.
Each of these seven tracks is a distinctive, ear-twisting treat, but highlights are off-center and daringly attenuated fairground theme “Fine Find Fined,” the queasy, bliss-pop mutation that is “Huh” and “Alvin,” where Sarah Byrne’s lullaby-styled coo is set against a lurching, some-thing-nasty-in-the-woods backdrop. Greg Boring have stated as their influences “extreme entertainment listening, misrelation to the subject matter, an ‘inner realm’ which stays altogether empty, abstract and indefinite.” That this deliberately obscures, rather than reveals their purpose is further reason to cheer them on.