Record #375: Boy Rex – Better Vision (2017)

As a youth, Jack Senff sang for the short-lived hardcore outfit Merchant Ships. Despite their six month career, they achieved a cult following that, having met him afterward, blows my mind. Also, once, he saw me working at the Barnes and Noble Cafe (one of my worst jobs) and he said, “Aha! So that’s why your glasses are so cool.” A correlation I don’t think has much merit…
He moved to the PacNorthwest and started an emo project called Knola. Knola played a short tour (the final show was a house show in my living room that Jack stopped halfway through the set because he was tired), then disbanded as Jack moved back to the Midwest.

After some meandering around with an acoustic guitar, he poured his restless energy into this chamber pop/indie rock project called Boy Rex. And if you ask me, it is by far his best work. While Better Vision is the second Boy Rex album, it is the first to feel like a cohesive statement.

Better Vision is the result of long weeks spent in his dad’s house meditating on death, love, and God (Senff Sr. plays trumpet on this album, as well as in my ska band Dad Jokes). In the process of writing these songs, he moved a few times and got engaged. Huge life events, to be sure. And Better Vision plays them with the sincerity and gravity they deserve. 

Which isn’t to say this is a depressing record. In fact, it’s one of the most jubilant records I’ve heard in a long time. Bouncing horn lines and poppy drum beats pervade the entire record. Playing it live, Jack’s hips swing the entire time. This is a feel-good record. It just might make you cry a couple times.

One thought on “Record #375: Boy Rex – Better Vision (2017)

  1. Pingback: Record #457: Knola – The Black Beach (2015) | A Year of Vinyl

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