Boyfrndz – Breeder

BOYFRNDZ selects (4 of 5)

Mere days after having van, cargo trailer, and all their equipment stolen in San Francisco midst their extensive  North America tour, Texas band Boyfrndz can at least give themselves and us a big boost with the release of new album Breeder on the first day of April. The release is an absorbing flight through unique climates and smouldering adventures employing a sound as ever distinct to the band and evocations which simply envelop and seduce the imagination. Breeder is a new innovative beast from previous band unveilings but still has that certain Boyfrndz voice as it stirs passions and sculpts captivating landscapes. Whereas previous releases blend a punchy indie craft to an intensive bite, the new album explores soaring melodies aligned to equally mesmeric vocals and expansive sonic exploration across provocative sceneries. It is a riveting encounter which draws thoughts and emotions in deeply with each traverse of its soundscapes, and more importantly a thoroughly compelling triumph.

Hailing from Austin, the band has earned acclaim and a rich fanbase through sound, shows, and their impressive releases. As mentioned Breeder is a different move in their inventive investigation, taking the essences which made the likes of their debut album All Day Pass of 2012 and last year’s Natures EP such formidable and satisfying propositions. Self-produced and engineered/mixed by Erik Wofford (Maserati, The Black Angels, White Denim), Breeder is a warm haven, like a beach of romantic seduction leading into varied melodically cast, often shadow kissed lands. Boyfrndz and their sound have always been defiant to labelling and certainly make it no easier for those who wish to add that tags with the new album. We can suggest though if the epic emotive potency of a Mars Volta or a Disappears catches your attention than this is an album which deserves your appetite.

Released via Brutal Panda Records, Breeder opens with an ambient intro which is haunting and yet coaxing in its sinister breath, keys boyfrndz_breeder_frontcovershaping thoughts and emotion with a dark menacing design. It is a heavy intensive opening which evolves without losing intent or weight into Each Others, a song which submerges senses in an invasive and heftily rewarding embrace. The vocals of Scott Martin and his guitar enterprise side by side with that of Jesse Moore immediately enslave, drawing thoughts deeper into the cavernous but equally intimate surroundings and depths of the narrative whilst the unpredictable rhythmic enticement built by drummer Aaron Perez aligned to the shadowed voice of Joseph Raines’ bass add keener textures and intrigue to the whole scenario.

The gripping unveiling of the album as its creative full height bears down on an awoken appetite, is swiftly reinforced by the dramatic breath and air of All At Once. The song is a range of subtle crescendos, emotive respites interspersed with powerful passion bred surges of sound and energy with every aspect a bewitching entwining of the imagination and the increasingly greedy hunger rising for the release. Its success is soon surpassed by the outstanding Shape Shifter, another song which brews a drama from its first emerging suasion which itself gives home to provocative shadows. The rhythmic juggling of Perez is instant magnetic bait which keeps the listener wrong footed as the smouldering air of the track through the guitars and the keys crafting of Moore, soaks pores and synapses. The entry of the celestial tones of Martin only accentuate the already Muse like feel to the song even though in truth his style is nearer to Cedric Bixler-Zavala if anyone. It is a temptress of a song, but one which lays a seducing touch around the body with fingers and a lure you just know is dangerous and only telling half the truth.

That Mars Volta suggestiveness comes back with stronger potency in Dark Braining though any reference is mere spicing to the unique Boyfrndz recipe. The song ebbs and flows across the senses, coating them in a thick melodic endeavour which is equally elegance and infectious, it’s often acidic and always charming ingenuity bordering toxic in its seducing and capture of the soul. The song is as fascinating in its progressively infused ingenuity as it is in its bordering on shoegaze rapture. It pushes limits with ease but in an easily accessible way, something which is achieved in a more testing way by the following Design with similarly impressive results. It opens with a celestial tempting which glances over the ear as the vocals glide with the first breath of its narrative. The peace is soon broken by a sonic surge of sound and energy which from there, shares air and space with its predecessor in a fluid ride of swirling melodies strapped to inciting rhythms and shimmering vocals. The course and depth of the song continues to enlist senses and imagination with resourceful aural contemplation making a provocation which takes longer than a great many to explore but lingers longer than most.

Both the muscular stance of Make Believe and the riotous causticity of Burn Through It, steal a fair chunk of the already ardour soaked passions, the first simply melody enriched alchemy within sinew built rhythmic walls and intensive sonic flames which tower over the agitated simmering and dramatic heart of the song. It is a glorious blaze matched by its successor, an encounter which from the first note is abrasing the senses with a blistered glaze to guitars and keys which fires up the exhaustive voracity of the song. Martin again opens up distinct avenues within the intent of the track; his harmonious tones a scintillating conflict and antagonist to the snarl of the great song.

The closing Big Faces provides a seemingly surf rock seeded melodic toxicity to its irresistible web of mystery and intrigue crossing a similarly magnetic pull of psychedelically enhanced persuasion. It is a stunning end to a sensational release. Boyfrndz has impressed before without really lighting fires in our thoughts  but with Breeder the band has set themselves as one of the essential investigations all should partake in whilst stealing a march on most with a definite album of the year contender.

To get yourself a copy of Breeder whilst helping the band regroup and complete as much of their tour as possible, check out their website http://www.Boyfrndz.com.

https://www.facebook.com/boyfrndz

https://www.boyfrndz.bandcamp.com

9/10

RingMaster 01/04/2014

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Bad Powers: Self Titled

Some bands upon their introduction just make you sigh with pleasure as the flames to a permanent attachment are lit and such is the case with Bad Powers and their self-titled debut album. It is a glorious and deeply stimulating piece of creative invention, its imagination as stirring and impressive as the raging provocative sounds brewed from the distinctly unique musical minds of the band. Arguably the quality of the release is not a surprise given that three quarters of the band were in the acclaimed Made Out Of Babies which called it a day earlier in the year, but guitarist Brendan Tobin, bassist Eric Cooper, and drummer Matthew Egan, have returned with something quite different and greedily enthralling.

The Brooklyn band headed by the stunning vocals of Megan Tweed (also of The Family Curse), has unleashed a hybrid of post punk and noise rock blended into a steaming maelstrom of innovation and ingenious enterprise. It is not the easiest to describe such the unique invention at play, for example at times the album teases the ear like a dysfunctional offspring of The Creatures, with Tweed sounding like a emotionally beleaguered Siouxie Sioux, The Pixies, and Throwing Muses lined by the corrosive breath of Joy Division, and in other moments the senses are swamped with a ravenous erosion brought by a cacophonous smothering from a mix of The Raincoats, The Sugarcubes, Stinking Lizaveta, and Essential Logic veined by the chilled whispers of a Xmal Deutschland. For all those inciting comparisons though the songs are in a realm of their own, a staggering amalgam of ideas and their inventive realisation brought through craft and energy to leave one drooling within a full and eager passion.

Released through The End Records, the album sets to work on the heart with opener New Bruises, the song immediately turning the key to adoration with dramatic sonic slices across rapping beats and firm riffs whilst Tweed begins her magnetic squalls of immense vocal enchantment. Like the music she offers a warm sizzling caress which alternates with a scorched and tenacious bite, her passionate wind shifts from deliciously scarring thoughts and emotions to coaxing them with a heated elegance. Whichever the source guiding her delivery it is a continual irresistible temptation. The track pulls one into an enveloping sonic wantonness, guitars and bass manipulating the synapses with brewing melodic gasses which consume all resistance whilst the rhythms cage and ensnare with an inescapable captivation.

The following likes of the tempestuous Hit Sniffing Dog and the brilliant Eves And Eyes cast their own distinct spells, the first a mix of intimidating intensity and taunting hypnotic grooves like a blistered union of elements from Dead Kennedys and Belly and the second an expansive crawl of emotive majesty and sinister shadows which delves within the psyche like the darkened fallout from The Birthday Party meeting Breeder overlooked by Morningwood. With its dark strings the track is immense amongst nothing but titanic pieces of dare one say genius?

Throughout its ten stunning tracks the album just offers the richest of rewards from its stylish and brilliantly crafted magnificence. The erosion Black Alf with its rolling plundering rhythms of Egan and abrasive vehemence from Tweedy just sparks higher flames of desire for the staggering creativity, the bass of Cooper snarling with venom within the caustic guitar assault whilst Blueberry transports the ear into an outstanding storm of air pilfering sonic rubs and incessant incendiary grooves. It is not the fiercest of the songs on the album but burns with a melodic heat to leave one breathless and smarting from its precise intensity.

With further heightened pinnacles in Electricity Should Be Free with its Bond like teasing intricacies and evocative swagger, and the quite wonderful and astounding closing track Bread And Butter, the album is without doubt one of the real triumphs of the year. From beginning to end it just wraps the senses and heart in a textured wash of brilliance. From its moments of crunching encounters through to the enchanting yet barbed beauty it seduces with ease through, the release is a sensation and Bad Powers in one stroke has taken sonically gifted music to a new and titanic height.

http://www.badpowers.com/

RingMaster 12/11/2012

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