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Rapid Results College - In City Light

  by John Clarkson

published: 15 / 5 / 2016

Rapid Results College - In City Light
Label: Gare du Nord Records
Format: CD


Fantastic debut album from melodic London indie pop guitar three-piece, Rapid Results College

Rapid Results College is the new band of former Hillfields’ frontman Rob Boyd, who appears here on vocals, guitar and keyboards, and the much-in-demand Mike Stone (Television Personalities, Rotifer, Lucy’s Diary), who plays bass and keyboards and provides backing vocals. The London-based trio also features Owain Evans on drums. Their choice of name is both tongue-in-cheek and ironic. 'Rapid Results', which appears at the midway point on 'In City Light', their debut album, reveals a disdain with the urgency and franticness of modern living and the work place. "Everybody wants those rapid results/You better make it quick," sings Boyd. "Keep reaching for those rapid results/It makes me sick." It takes several listens to fully appreciate 'In City Light'. It is very much a grower. Boyd and Stone's guitar lines are clean-cut and jangling. Songs begin in one place and finish somewhere far different, and in Boyd they have an intelligent but unusual songwriter, whose lyrics take an often off-kilter look at the world and which linger on in the memory long after they have finished. 'Rapid Results' is the most snappy, spiky track on 'In City Lights', but even here it is packed with the trio's trademark sharp hooks and sense of melodicism. 'Café Girl', the first single from the album, has a chiming, tingling sound, and, humorous and cinematic in tone, finds Boyd appreciatively eyeing up a pretty girl in a café ("Café girl/Coffee gets cold/Café girl/Doing her lipstick"). Evans' drums push the song along to a false end, before the song kicks in again with Boyd this time charmingly singing in French. By its finish, the girl is, however, gone with not a word having passed between them and it is an opportunity wasted. Thwarted hopes and lost chances are something of a theme on 'In City Lights'. On the immensely evocative 'Turrett Grove', which combines Evans' echoing drums and shimmering strikes of keyboard, its protagonist walks up it, unaware that the girl, who watches him from her window. might in other circumstances prove to be the love of his life ("I won't hear you calling out to me/ I ignore you and continue my journey/Your rich, ivory tower is no concern to me on Turrett Grove"). The narrator of 'Shop' dreams of owning his own shop ("Music below and a café on the top"), but, for all its upbeat, somewhat twee sound, there is a heavy undercurrent of melancholy. As he starts to think about how much it will all cost and investors, it becomes apparent to the listener at least that it is little more than a pipe dream. On the tragi-comic, spoken-word 'The Cautionary Tale of Alphonse Du Gard', the hapless title character meanwhile finds himself in custody after a date goes macabrely wrong. Lo-fi in tone, 'In City Lights' is an album of great musical heights. A beautiful and subtle record, Rapid Result College's razor sharp lyricism and musicality are such that it becomes increasingly thrilling with each new hearing.

Track Listing:-
1 Lovers and Trains
2 Cafe Girl
3 Any Other Way
4 Turrett Grove
5 Rapid Results
6 Shop
7 Francine's Coat
8 The Cautionary Tale of Alfons
9 (Murder In) Heydrop Crescent
10 Down on You

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Interview (2016)
Rapid Results College - Interview
John Clarkson speaks to Rob Boyd, the front man with C-86 /Dunedin Sound-inspired indie pop trio Rapid Results College, about their debut album, 'In City Light'

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