Album Review: Boy And Bear - Limit Of Love

5 October 2015 | 6:26 pm | Roshan Clerke

"Gone is much of the sweeping folk-rock instrumentation."

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Sydney band Boy & Bear's third album finds them sounding leaner than ever. The five-piece recorded much of Limit Of Love straight to tape, letting their power as a live outfit translate into their music-making process with their most refined effort to date. Gone is much of the sweeping folk-rock instrumentation that suggested they might fall into the category of being another acoustic-leaning band that failed to move with the trends. Instead, the group have stripped back their soundscape and increasingly introduced more electric instruments.

One needs to look no further than the metronomic cowbell beat of the opening title track to recognise there's a fresh sense of inspiration about this album. Only one song later, Killian Gavin busts out a Lindsey Buckingham guitar solo on the synth-driven Walk The Wire. The big, harmonised choruses are still here, but the added attention paid to the small details on this record has fleshed out their music.

While there's no denying the chemistry of their playing together as a group, this record is also heavily indebted to the production work of esteemed English musician Ethan Johns, who further contributes some synth playing on a few tracks. His part in encouraging the boys to write collaboratively after frontman and lyricist Dave Hosking failed to find time to write enough songs during their recent touring schedule was a key influence on the album's cohesive atmosphere. While this creates an enjoyable listening experience for the most part, the band still seem as harmlessly pleasant as they've always sounded.