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Shmat's Reviews
For more reviews, please visit Palebear which is where all future Shmat reviews will appear (as of March 2006).

The Boyish Charms
A Blueberry Transmission (Cassette Tape)

Man, I love getting these short handmade indiepop cassette tapes. Brilliant little gems that fizzle through your mind so brightly and often just as briefly. The Boyish Charms certainly live up to their name on A Blueberry Transmission, which comprise four of the songs from a live recorded set on the campus of UCSD (put on by KSDT, which is UC San Diego's radio station). I had thought I'd never heard their songs before, but evidently they're on the "We Can Still Be Friends" Magic Marker Compilation CD which I do have. And they're on like a seemingly gazbillion other compiliations too.

Oh, the winsome melodies and the swimmingly fine little guitars that chime so softly on this tape! Very, very ace. "The Heart You Can't Ignore" is like a cross between Tullycraft and The Velvet Underground's "I'll Be Your Mirror". The Boyish Charms manage to mix pre-adolescent yearning and idealistic confusion with a pop sensibility that is immediate and head-bobbingly infectious. The toe-tapping "Safely Abandoned In Fear" is one part Galaxie 500, one part Big Star, one part twee factory goodness. My favorite track is definitely the last one "Hearts and Cigarettes" which features godamn charming half out-of-key falsetto vocals and reminds me a little bit of Fakebook era Yo La Tengo. The imagery of the lyrics "You can use my heart to light your cigarette" is at once funny and poignant in the same breath. Try 'em out; they're no swanky, expensive souvenirs from Trendville but they certainly lit my heart afire with the way they played their indie pop.

- review by RABBIT (3.21.04)        

Popgun Recordings
P.O. Box 7374
Riverside, CA 92513

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