With their bigger and better second album, London-based indie/dance band Boxed In have earned their breakout moment
Real Lies - 'Real Life'
North London lads revive the ravey hedonism of The Streets and Happy Mondays on a reflective and rowdy debut
Frontman Kev Kharas, singer/producer Tom Watson and loops/samples man Pat King plug into the urban ennui and drifting modern malaise The Streets did on 2002 debut ‘Original Pirate Material’. 'Real Life' is the late night sound of the fringes of the city as filtered through baggy, happy house and rave.
It’s an album of two halves – reflective and rowdy – and opener 'Blackmarket Blues' neatly combines the two. ‘North Circular’ is like a chill-out room take on John Betjeman’s 1973 study of suburbia Metroland, and easily passes the Burial and xx ambient electronica nightbus test. On the boisterous flip side are the exhilarating, Happy Mondays-style party banger ‘One Club Town’ and the piano house perfection of ‘World Peace’.
‘Seven Sisters’ hits a Pet Shop Boys pop sweet spot, while the spiralling ‘Dab Housing’ references Orbital, Studio One reggae and Oasis in four minutes of hazy Hacidena-worthy rapture. It might sound like Real Lies are living in the past, but ‘Real Life’ is fiercely in the present.
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