You kind of knew when you heard This Many Boyfriends‘ song I Don’t Like You (Cos You Don’t Like the Pastels) that they were a band with a geeky sense of humor, an ear for a good slogan and had spent a good amount of time in record stores digging for lost classics. Having spent time getting to know the classics has given the band an indelible songwriting ability to emulate them without repeating them.
Their debut album that came out earlier this month on Angular over in the UK is a heart on the sleeve fan letter to all of their favorite bands and the indiepop culture that surrounds them (They are named after the Beat Happening song This Many Boyfriends Club). Tons of bands are name checked in their songs, but the one that isn’t may be their biggest influence. Instead of scratching that band’s name on his arm with a fountain pen, instead singer Richard Brooke scrawls Tina Weymouth across his t-shirt in permanent black marker.
All of the previous singles (Young Lovers Go Pop & Communist) show up on the record including a re-recorded version of their afore mentioned Pastels tribute. The Cribs‘ Ryan Jarman produced the record and his added emphasis to a meatier guitar sound improves on the demo versions of Number One , I Should Be a Communist, That’s What Diaries Are For and I Don’t Like You which all first appeared on their Getting a Life With EP that came out on SPC two years ago. I’m sure many will write This Many Boyfriends off as a joke band but there are far too many classic sounding pop songs like Number One and Starling to make that a valid argument. This record is fun to listen to and balances fun pop with funny pop. I just hope people go beyond the funny pop eye candy of their easily identifiable slogan songs and crunch on some of their stronger everlasting gobstoppers.
Video: This Many Boyfriends – Number One