Skeletons and the Girl-Faced Boys: "See The Way"
By Chet Betz | 27 July 2005
To my CMG comrades I described my first impression of Skeletons and the Girl-Faced Boys as a funkier, proggier Plus/Minus, as pansy white pop with ballsy electronica-fried arrangements: “bisexual soundz.” There’s enough truth in that inaccurary to make it worth paraphrasing here; this is music that scurries about one’s attempts to pin it down. I could call it the band version of Jamie Lidell, but that wouldn’t really cover the music’s afternoon flavor or the squirrelly videogame soundtracks that exist as minor details in the songs. In certain venues there’s been plenty of buzz over the album’s title track, but for me it’s all about “See the Way,” a tasty martini of an opener.
There’s a certain repressed energy and business to the chop-and-paste arrangement that seems more Menomena than Junior Boys, though the latter feels like a closer stylistic touchstone. As a robot junkyard percussion track clinks away, synth blasts repeatedly subside into oscillations, creating an overlapping effect that mesmerizes. Bits of modulated guitar and high-pitched whistle noises throw commas and semi-colons into the music’s flow, BGVs fluttering above Matt Mehlan’s lines like quotation marks. Mehlan falsettos, “See the way your mouth moves when you talk / See the way your head tilts in pictures,” before he drifts down an octave or two: “I always forget what she looks like / Her voice, her voice is always changing…” His backing’s as of-the-moment as his lyrics, the sound clutter too ephemeral to linger in the mind when it’s not playing. 2005’s most existentially romantic love song would sink mixtapes, the wooed leaving “See the Way” on repeat so that they could recall the sweetness they just heard.