Boss Keloid – Family the Smiling Thrush (2021)

Counting down some more of 2021’s best releases that we never quite got around to discussing earlier. Here’s one you absolutely must insert into your ears ASAP, if you haven’t already done so!


Boss KeloidFamily the Smiling Thrush (Ripple Music, 04 June 2021)


Usually, to say a new album sounds just like one that came before — virtually identical in style, virtually identical in quality — would be seen as disparaging, negative criticism. Oh, you might think, this band hasn’t shown any growth, isn’t trying to accomplish anything new, they’re just doing the same old stuff over again.

But what if that previous release was already a 10/10 masterpiece with every track nearly perfect, not a single moment of filler, like 2018’s Melted on the Inch? How much growth and maturation could one reasonably expect from a band after an album like that?

So when I tell you that my reaction to last summer’s new Family the Smiling Thrush was that all of these songs strikingly resembled their predecessors — the complex structures, progressive rhythms, folksy melodies, and powerful vocals, all of which bring to mind such titans as Yes or early Genesis or Jethro Tull sans flute, just a heavier and more metallic version of those — when I say that every moment found on this record is no less catchy or captivating than any moment on the last, and when I say that these both could easily have been paired together as a double-LP, all of that should be interpreted as highly, highly complimentary.


Family the Smiling Thrush is still available on vinyl at the Ripple webstore, which seems to be the only place that hasn’t sold out yet. The streaming/downloading and CD versions are also available at Amazon or Bandcamp.

There’s also a Bandcamp subscription option (just $5 monthly!) that will get you access to everything Ripple Music releases!




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