Wednesday, 3 February 2010

The Necks - The Boys OST

The Necks are an Australian instrumental 3 piece who have been around for over 20 years. The basic formula is piano, bass and drums, and they display a mastery of both their own instruments and their overall sound. This is not expressed in explosive virtuoso passages, even though they definitely play jazz tinged music: they play acoustic instruments, but they also explore the usually minimal themes of their music, with the same kind of repetition and recapitulation of motifs and themes that you would normally find in jazz. However, they usually do it in an elegant and sedate way that owes as much to post rock as it does to any jazz master, and on this album there are understated embellishments, such as small blasts of distorted guitar, some reversed atmospheric echo, and wonderful electric organ. Often their albums and gigs will be a single piece of music, but on this disc, the soundtrack to 1998 Australian film The Boys, there are seven. This does include three ten minute plus tracks to give you a good illustration of their MO, not to mention three versions of the main theme, which is superb - a brooding and noirish piano led theme, full of menace and rippling with atmosphere. Although many tracks and the addition of extra noises to the mix may make this a more expansive and less representative Necks album, they also help it to be fantastically listenable.


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