“A wall is a wall / A wall is just a wall” is the idiom that Rhode Island’s Downtown Boys use to charge the nerves of their upcoming record Cost of Living. Fueled by political fury, they demolish the soundscape barriers that any may have assumed to be placed on them after signing to Sub Pop, bringing as much energy as they can physically handle. Their sound is ironically more expansive under such a recognized label, as if the operators gave them the tools and said simply, “Create fire.” And that’s just what they do on this single, burning through all societal expectations with the hopes that it makes you uncomfortable, makes you realize the times that we’re in. With that being said, you don’t have to be radical-minded or even leftist to enjoy what they’ve brought to the table. They’re not singling you out and declaring that you are responsible for the current state of affairs, instead focusing on an issue and tearing it apart to expose the ridiculousness inside, something that takes great care to pull off and not what you might expect from a punk rock group. Downtown Boys are keeping their sound visceral, fearless, and direct when needed, and we thank them for that.
“A Wall” opens with shoegaze chords that carry across the hypnotic rhythm of the bass, all being drenched in sweat from the energetic drumming. The strange burst of horns offer a brightness to the track that keeps it moving at an easy pace just before you’re met with a series of fuck it’s that are laid in the verse, almost like a chant being rung across 5th Ave in the most aggressive way possible. It’s their boldness that makes them important to listen to, besides being undeniably catchy through the genre-mashing that takes place. They stay true to the essence of punk with a loud and destructive force that cradles the almost post-punk melody, threatening to drop it on its head the whole while.
Cost of Living is due out on 08/11 from Sub Pop Records and is available for pre-order here.
It’s no secret that I have a soft spot for post-punk, the way the atmospheric haze can settle in across these bright while slightly fuzzed guitar lines just taps into something inside of me. Continue reading Strange Relations kick off new LP with “Say You”
It seems like just earlier this week that I was listening to a new Deerhoof single and feeling my heart race with excitement. Continue reading Deerhoof continues to amaze with “Your Dystopic Creation Doesn’t Fear You”
After allowing their sound to grow into what many critics considered the best rock album of 2014 with Lost In The Dream, Philadelphia’s The War on Drugs continues to be a magnificent example of the band’s evolution. Continue reading The War on Drugs discover the “Strangest Thing” on third new single
Much has already been said about East London’s post-punk / performance art outfit Snapped Ankles, but with as is the case with any good folk legend, it demands that it be shared. Continue reading Snapped Ankles continue to spread their myth on upcoming LP
If you were to take a look around at the double-fisted, white toothed strangers that lift up their coattails at the sight of wounded prey, circling them, you might begin to feel outnumbered. Continue reading Joshua James finds the secret with “Real Love”
There have been plenty of good band names throughout history, some may even say there have been great band names, but I haven’t come across one that characterizes the sound so well as Australia’s Time For Dreams. Continue reading Time For Dreams lull us in with “Lighthouse”
Coming through a whirlwind of pop-fueled chaos, Oakland’s Club Night is releasing their debut EP next month and it’s already beginning to seem like a new favorite. The first single, “Rally”, is a wonderful construct of hook melody and scoping noise, primarily through the use of distortion and feedback. Continue reading Club Night is going to be your new favorite with “Rally”
With a nostalgic penchant for hopeless romanticism, California’s Surf Curse aims to stoke the buried memories of high school with some of the most depressing, yet catchiest tracks I’ve found. Continue reading Surf Curse bring out everything you hoped to forget with “All is Lost”
There’s a continuing influx of pop and rock musicians in the indie scene trying to capture the vibrant sound of 80’s, primarily New Wave. Most come off more as just a gimmicked attempt to fall into popularity through retro revival. Continue reading Alvvays revive the past with “In Undertow”