By Mathew Wilkins
VANCOUVER – Chances are you haven’t heard of Bored Décor before. However, the local four-piece has been on a meteoric rise to local stardom over the course of the past two years, playing concerts throughout Vancouver so frequently it sometimes seemed as if they were two places at once. Now somewhat seasoned vets in the art of the gig, the band has finally decided to put their (equally seasoned) material together into a debut LP, The Colour Red.
“I don’t really think we wrote the album as an album necessarily,” guitarist and singer Nik Barkman says pensively, almost to himself. The others are sitting in a circle on the charred summer grass in Dude Chilling park, nodding in agreement. “It’s all ‘previously unreleased’ material, but it’s been heard.”
The record, at a full 11 songs, is packed full of tracks that local showgoers might recognize. Many of them manage to contain the same intensity and dynamism that you could expect from a live performance, which is likely because it was recorded live off the floor.
“We recorded it live, and vocals were overdubbed,” explains drummer Neriah Mair. “We actually recorded it super fast, probably from playing it for so long.”
“I don’t know if the way I play things on the album are the way I play them live anymore,” adds keyboardist Ryan Quist after a brief pause. The others laugh in agreement, guitarist Colin Osler throwing in a joke about a time Quist insisted on playing only the bass for one of their practices.
The Colour Red is fantastically messy, and stimulating, just as you’d expect if you’ve had a chance to catch any of their live shows. Distorted guitars, bass, and synths rip through frenzied riffs as the drums blaze along beneath — Barkman’s Byrne-esque vocals all the while chanting politically-tinged lyrics speedily overtop. Yet certain other songs exist on this record that many Bored Décor fans almost certainly won’t expect. Songs like “Black Bananas” meander along at a ballad’s pace, with Barkman quietly crooning to surprisingly spirit-lifting instrumentals.
Regardless of speed or energy, however, every song still possesses an intimacy that makes listeners feel as if they’re right there in the studio with the rest of the band.
“And that was kind of the goal,” says guitarist Colin Osler. “To make it as live and organic as possible.”
Bored Decor perform with Ulrika Spacek and Mint Field at the Fox Cabaret October 9.