The Boat People – Dance to My Pain/ Antidote Double A-side Remix Package – CD Review

Review: Lana Harris

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  This double a-side release features tracks from the recently released Dear Darkly, creating a target audience of people who love The Boat people singles but who won’t commit to buying a full album, and fans who love The Boat People so much they’ll buy this just for the remixes of the two title tracks.

The CD opens with ‘Antidote’, which is a very sweet love song, a well crafted pop tune, and the last time on this CD that guitars are able to take the front of stage. From ‘Dance to My Pain’ and onwards through the remixes, synthesisation and beats take over. C’mon, Boat People, just admit it: you want to be a dance act. Sure, sure, not a traditional dance act,

but a revitalised, fresh, Aussie pop influenced electro outfit who, every so often, get to wear a furry animal costume on stage – even if it’s done in the spirit of irony.

Sporadically, The Boat People seem like they’re their own casual side project, bringing out songs which are almost parodies of dance with their simplicity, but with such strong hooks they become good songs in their own right. Demonstrated in ‘Echo Stick Guitars’, underlined by ‘Dance to my Pain’ (which, by the way, is just as wonderfully catchy, poppy and singalongable as ‘Echo Stick Guitars’ was) and now put in bold by recruiting No Device and Ming the Merciless to bring these tracks onto dance party play lists.

So zip up dem dancing boots and throw on the remixes. No Device takes on ‘Antidote’ and challenges it to a contest of speed. It’s faster, dubbier, and the vocals are tweaked into those aliens-who-inexplicably-speak-English tones by the end. When No Device tackle ‘Dance to my Pain’ they go in the opposite direction, their version is much slower than the original. There’s also a much earlier and heavier use of vocal reworking into those alien vibes. Which is a funny (if very early nineties) thing to do a singer.

Ming the Merciless (who calls his remix the ‘antidote pantydote’ and so immediately scores amusement points) severely deconstructs ‘Antidote’. What’s left is the lyrics, spread out across a track that now spans 7 ½ minutes, and which has been transformed from pop ditty into an ethereal, slow, harmonised float that’s probably going to find itself entertaining the bleary eyed Sunday recovery session crowd.

This double a-side demonstration of dance hankering is fun. If you’re a single junky or Boat People fangirl or boy that loves to get their groove on, this is worth hunting down.

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* Montpelier ‘Last Boat’ Single Review
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* Danza Contemporanea De Cuba @ The Playhouse (Brisbane Festival), 15th September 2010 – Live Review
* Polarity @ The Judith Wright Centre, Brisbane 13th September 2010 – Live Review
* Betrayal @ The Cremorne Theatre, Brisbane 10th September 2010 – Live Review
* Crow “Arcane” – LP Review
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