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Bored Nothing

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Album Review

Bored Nothing's Fergus Miller spent all of 2012 holed up in his house with a cheap four-track recorder, an electric guitar, the ghost of Elliott Smith, and the complete '90s catalog of Matador records. The result was a torrent of songs that ended up on Bandcamp, CD-Rs, and cassettes throughout the year, and then on this self-titled LP at the end of the year. Bored Nothing gathers up songs from the previous releases, plus five songs recorded specifically for the record, and in the process vaults Miller to the head of the '90s revival class. From the beginning, it's easy to see that he has a firm grasp on the things that made the indie rock of the time so good, as he conjures up the hooky jangle of Teenage Fanclub on "S**t for Brains," indulges in some slow motion jangle pop nihilism on "I Wish You Were Dead," gets energetically fuzzy on the Ride-like "Snacks," and generally captures the lo-fi sound and slacker feel of the era. Miller's guitar playing is spot on, he has tons of energy, his knack for a catchy song is well-developed, and he never sounds like he's just ripping off bands and their trademark sounds; it's more like he's using some well-worn tropes in fresh-sounding ways. Tracks like the gorgeous "Only Old" and the singsong "Echo Room" sound like Bored Nothing, not like anyone else, which is impressive for a debut. The only place the album falls short is on the quieter songs like "Charlie's Creek" and "Get Out of Here," which sound way too much like Elliott Smith's acoustic balladry for comfort. It's a little too close to grave robbing and shows a lack of imagination, which is far from a problem anywhere else on the record. In fact, subtract those missteps and the album is good enough that had it actually been released in 1994, people would be talking about it in the reverent tones they use to speak of Bee Thousand or Going Blank Again, for example. OK, it may not be not that timeless, but it's still high quality work from a youngster who is off to a fine start in the indie rock game.


Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '10s

Working from his bedroom and recording all the parts by himself like a true '90s indie rock obsessive, Melbourne, Australia native Fergus Miller began releasing songs via Bandcamp in 2010 with the Other Things EP under the name Splintered Oar. His lo-fi, bedroom folk sound conjured up a more experimental Elliott Smith, and Miller's voice did bear an uncanny resemblance to the late singer's angelic croon. Further EPs followed under the Splintered Oar name in 2011 (Reverie 8, Beard of Bees, 7 Ribs),...
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Bored Nothing, Bored Nothing
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