Album Review: B Boys Search for Meaning in the Modern World on Dudu

The Lowdown: Not to be confused with the mid-’80s British band of the same name, New York City’s B Boys make a righteous racket in the name of modern-day survival. On 2016 EP No Worry No Mind and 2017 album Dada, Andrew Kerr (drums), Brendon Avalos (bass), and Britton Walker (guitar) mixed hard beats, spare melodies, and declamatory voices, echoing UK trailblazers Wire and Gang of Four. Now, with Dudu — will Dodo be next? — they’ve refined that strategy, creating something truly their own for the first time. (Buy: Tickets to Upcoming B Boys Shows) The Good: While Wire and GoF gradually mellowed, losing their edge, B Boys have gone in the opposite direction. The relentless Dudu makes the trio’s previous work seem almost frivolous, paring their music down to granite-hard basics. Melodies are minimal, with jagged guitar riffs hinting at traditional songcraft, powered by brutal rhythms. The clamoring voices could be mistaken for the outbursts of primitive beasts, yet nothing could be farther from the truth. [embedded content] For all the shouting, they do a brilliant job of evoking the toxic mixture of stress, boredom, and alienation that saturates so many lives today. The slashing “Pressure Inside” explores […]

The Front Bottoms reimagine Kevin Devine’s “Just Stay” for new Devinyl Splits collaboration: Stream

Kevin Devine has announced the final addition to volume two of his Devinyl Splits Series. As a preview of the 7-inch split single, Devine has shared The Front Bottoms’ cover of his own “Just Stay”. The track comes from Devine’s 2006 LP, Put Your Ghost to Rest, and as frequent tourmates and collaborators — and close friends — The Front Bottoms are a perfect choice for the cover. Their take is searing and powerful from the start, standing in stark contrast to the original number, which opts for a simple acoustic guitar and crisp vocals. The two renditions remain consistent in their mournful tone, however, even though the avenues they use to get there are wholly different. (Read: Top 50 Cover Songs from Movies) Devine actually features on the track, while TFB serve as the accompaniment for his B-side cover of “Rhode Island” off the New Jersey folk-punk band’s 2011 self-titled debut LP. Take a listen to “Just Stay” below, and pre-order Devinyl Splits No. 12 before it’s released on March 29th via Bad Timing Records. [embedded content] For each Devinyl Split, the Brooklyn-born singer-songwriter collaborates with another artist. For the second, six-part volume — which has been rolled out throughout 2018 and […]

Artists Reflect on 25 Years of Green Day’s Dookie

This week marks the 25th anniversary of Dookie, the record from East Bay punk trio Green Day that brought punk back into the mainstream, inspired a decade of mall-punk imitators, and gave zealous teens everywhere one more chance to debate the meaning of the word “sellout.” To mark the occasion, we’ve asked a few of our favorite older and new artists from across the last quarter-century to reflect on Green Day’s major-label breakthrough and to help us find a little new perspective on a record that, whether we realize it or not, many of us still know by heart. As it turns out, it was anything but pulling teeth to get them to come clean… __________________________________________________________ First Impressions of Green Day and Dookie Green Day at 924 Gilman by Murray Bowles Jon Ginoli (Pansy Division): I first encountered Green Day when their first album came out, because I was a sales rep for Rough Trade Distribution. I was in their San Francisco office, and we distributed a lot of smaller labels, and people were asking for two records: Green Day and Operation Ivy. They seemed to have gotten to be popular sellers without any kind of advertising or promotions. For […]