Boy Genius – Anchorage

Why would a Brooklyn quartet comprised of two fellas [Jason Korenkiewicz (vocals, guitar, harmonica) and Jeffrey Mensch (bass, acoustic guitar, backing vocals)] and two ladies [Lisa Klimkiewicz (drums, melodica, backing vocals) and Marisa Cerio (guitar, backing vocals)] (the latter of whom replaced recording guitarist Christopher Amann) dub themselves Boy Genius? Why not Girl Genius or Boy and Girl Geniuses? A pseudo-femiladyism rant aside, the band’s debut full-length Anchorage is indie pop genius.

Anchorage begins with “Radio Silence,” a wonderfully constructed indie pop gem that will get you on your feet as Amann creates catchy riffs as his and Klimkiewicz’s voices harmonize beautifully for the backing vocals. Korenkiewicz shows off his harmonica skills on the song’s bridge and when he’s not singing lead. What really pulled me in was the melodica, accompanied by a steady and mellow beat, on Anchorage‘s title track.

An album full to the brim with simple and happy-go-lucky melodies, minimalist instrumentation and a nod to lo-fi will have you remembering the 80s and 90s and [perhaps] your first encounter with indie rock. Boy Genius has done very well for themselves, earning comparisons to the likes of Pavement and early (think early to mid-80s) R.E.M. Upon listening to Anchorage, I imagine Boy Genius hailing from the 1990s Midwest indie/emo scene rather than the current hipster-bloated borough of Brooklyn.

The album is cohesive and often runs the risk of becoming repetitive, but manages to keep things interesting with changing dynamics, staccato beats, hand claps o’ plenty, group vocals, “Talk About Love’s” warped riffs, trumpets à la American Football on “Falling Gravity” and a driving tambourine on “Lake & Michigan.” Anchorage ends on strong with “Tied In Two.” Slightly ambient and distorted heavier rock riffs retain remnants of Boy Genius’ signature lo-fi pop sound, but venture into exciting new territory.

All in all, Boy Genius’ Anchorage is an indie purist’s dream. 2008 has been a great year so far, but if you’re nostalgic for the 90s, or just need a change of pace, spin Anchorage and have the memories come flooding back. My early/mid 90s were Top 40 fueled (I was in elementary and middle school and didn’t know any better!), but Boy Genius’ brand of dreamy lo-fi indie pop has me forgetting my musical dark ages.

Anchorage is available now via CDbaby and iTunes.

Tracklisting:
01. Radio Silence
02. No Beginning
03. Eureka
04. Anchorage
05. Failing Gravity
06. Great Lakes
07. Talk About Love
08. Marigold
09. Fair Weather
10. Lake & Michigan
11. Tied in Two

Tour Dates:
Jul 25 – Cake Shop/New York City
Aug 08 – Martini Red/Staten Island
Aug 09 – Velvet Lounge/Washington DC (w/Secret Pop Band)
Aug 10- Ottobar/Baltimore, Md. (w/Jason Dove & Abby Mott)
Aug 11- TBA/Charlottesville, Va.
Aug 13 – Athens Popfest @ Little Kings/Athens, Ga.
Aug 15 – TBA/Chapel Hill, NC
Aug 16 – The M Room/Philadelphia

Boy Genius: myspace | buy Anchorage on iTunes, CDbaby

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One Response

  1. […] into the venue from the bar and billiard tables. The quartet played a solid set of both tunes from recent release Anchorage and new […]

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