Edinburgh based trio Errant Boy are building upon their 2016 album A Wayward Mirror with new album Memory Fractures. Heavily inspired by the guitar pop of the 1980s, Errant Boy deliver nine tracks featuring solid guitar melodies and simple yet effective rhythms.
If the band didn’t cite The Smiths as one of their main inspirations, listeners would pick it up immediately anyway, with a lot of the tracks here sounding like a contemporary take on the band. Tale Twist, for example, picks up The Smiths’ repeating rhythms and dancing melodies fairly accurately. Tracks like Wine Storm Hurricane have the same sound but thanks to Errant Boy’s cultural roots give the band a folky take on 80s guitar pop. An album standout in 444 further highlights this folk sound.
Theme From 29 Bus gives the guitar a much more staccato and synth sounding melody which contrasts with the sustained chords during the chorus. It’s a rather uneasy song and shows Errant Boy have more sounds in their repertoire. Likewise the chorus-heavy A Star Hangs sounds like a contemporary indie rock piece and manages to shine amongst the other tracks.
The album opens and closes with Means and The Undeserted House respectively and are quite symbolic of the album as a whole. On both ends there are songs that sound fairly like Smiths songs, but hidden within the album, beyond the bookend tracks are stronger examples of originality.
Once the album gets going there is plenty to entertain, including Sean Ormsby’s woozy vocals that focus on the band’s own experience of life, growing up and maturing. It is an album that requires patience but once listeners are in they will be playing the album on repeat for some time.