A Guide to the Daylight Hours
Being Scottish with a wry lyrical slant and jubilant pop songs lends ballboy to be compared with indie greats and fellow countrymen Belle & Sebastian. However, singer Gordon McIntyre’s tales of oft-times non-existent sexual escapades and rampant horniness would indicate London’s Hefner as a better touchstone.
Any of these song titles would do Hefner songwriter Darren Hayman proud: “You Can’t Spend Your Whole Life Hanging Around With Arseholes,” “I Wonder if You’re Drunk Enough to Sleep With Me Tonight,” “I Lost You, But I Found Country Music” and “Sex is Boring.” Doesn’t sound too deep does it? Almost like The Bloodhound Gang, had they been born in tartan-wearing country. For his casual sarcastic bluster, though, it’s easy to spot the unsure, insecure narrator underneath McIntyre’s witticisms. The humor isn’t something to laugh at, but, rather, something to hide behind. On “Nobody Really Knows Anything,” McIntyre even admits, “I know that this is not the answer, but I do it anyway.” This is what truly saves the album from being full of I-REALLY-want-to-get-laid “Bad Touch”-ish garbage.
Musically ballboy swings through precious twee (“You Can’t…”), pogoing club anthems (“Where Do the Nights of Sleep Go When They Do Not Come to Me”) and orchestral pop (“A Europewide Search For Love”). This means that A Guide For the Daylight Hours isn’t radically different from the current Brit-pop landscape, but it’s still a refreshing respite from ballboy’s counterparts (and lowest common denominators) on our side of the pond.