By Steve Weinstein
By Bryan Bierman
By Lindsey Rhoades
By Chaz Kangas
By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Jena Ardell
By Jesse Sendejas Jr.
By Katherine Turman
On The Best Party Ever, their debut (out since 2005 in England, but due here next month), the Boy Least Likely To come off as the boys most likely to replace Belle and Sebastian in the hearts of frail indie folk for whom Belle's recent diversion into swinging T. Rex glam-boogie constituted treason. Like Stuart Murdoch, singer Jof Owen tempers his hothouse melodrama with crucial wisps of black comedy; in "Fur Soft as Fur" he celebrates "fresh strawberries and cream" before admitting, "Sometimes at work I feel like a machine."
Owen's multi-instrumentalist partner Pete Hobbs helps keep the train out of the ditch too. He laces "Sleeping With a Gun Under My Pillow" with tumbling-tumbleweed slide guitar, and makes a jubilant Fisher-Price fiesta out of "I'm Glad I Hitched My Apple Wagon to Your Star." Best party ever? Hardly. Best pity party ever? Maybe.
The Boy Least Likely To play Webster Hall March 14-15.