Downtown Boys

Cost of Living

Sup Pop

Aug 10, 2017 Issue #61 - Grizzly Bear Bookmark and Share


Find It At: AMAZON

Downtown Boys are an antidote to 2017, to Trump's America, to oppression of all marginalized groups. The bi-lingual Chicana, queer, and Latino outfit are also a punch to the larynx of tired, white-washed punk rock that's turned so far towards its own privileged naval.

Following a self-released debut and a breakthrough sophomore album on Don Giovani, Downtown Boys now find themselves on Sub Pop. It's a big platform for the band, an opportunity to inspire those who might not have found representation in the genre, or at least had to look further than bigger record labels to find it. The group largely succeed in the new spotlight, immediately tearing against Trump's wall on the first track. The more polished production respects the band's approach, even if Downtown Boys themselves have slowed since their last record. The lyrics have become more audible at the expense of breakneck energy. Even at a slower speed, vocalist Victoria Ruiz sounds as urgent as ever, shouting more than singing, and Joey La Neve DeFrancesco's guitar provides the chordal and melodic changes. One disappointment is the less adventurous brass arrangements that now sound more like the band's ironic-but-not-ironic Bruce Springsteen cover from 2016. The smoother edges still don't dull the thrill of loud, angry young people with something to say. (www.downtownboys.bandcamp.com)

Author rating: 7.5/10

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