BOI – Coron O Chwinc
One of my abiding memories of lockdown last summer was hearing out of nowhere the sound of distant drums. Like a startled hare in a farmer’s field I stood to attention, my ears pricked up; despite all the death and enforced isolation music was being played and there was hope! I am lucky enough to live near Osian Gwynedd and that sound of drums was the preparatory work for what turned out to be ‘Coron o Chwinc’ (roughly translated as ‘Crown of a Kink’).
My biggest fear for work recorded during lockdown was that we would, perhaps understandably, be subjected an endless series of morbid and morose albums. This is anything but. From the get go with “Heidio Mae’r Locustiaid” (Plague of Locusts) the band are out of the starting blocks like seasoned race horses and there is no holding back. As if to say “Fuck Covid we are here to celebrate life!” The muscular, crunching guitars of Ifan Emlyn and the crystal clear assured vocals of Rhodri Siôn leap out of the speakers and set the tone for the rest of the album.
After the unremitting pace of the opening tracks “Ynys Angel” (Angel Island) provides a chance to catch your breath with a mid-tempo scarves in the air crowd pleaser. If there was a standout feature of this album it would be guitar work and it serves to demonstrate that a killer riff can still propel a song into greatness. Both “Rheswm am Godwn” (Reason to Rise) and “Cael Chdi Nôl” (Get You Back) have guitar playing that is worthy of prime time Glen Buxton (Alice Cooper).
When people look back in years to come and ask “what did you do in the pandemic of 2020?” members of BOI will simply need to point to this album with pride.
‘Coron O Chwinc’ is an unbridled joy from start to finish.