Caught this band live with my own eyes and ears for the first time @ our New England Underground Music Fest from a few weeks back. Was blown away. I’d heard tunes from them before, and got them on the fest based upon that but man… what a live band! I would have to say that DOWNTOWN BOYS easily put on one of the most exhilarating sets at the NEUMF.
Hailing from Providence, and full of bi-lingual piss and vinegar and saxophones, they come off sounding like some genetic splicing of X-RAY SPEX and some ape shit hardcore killers of yore like CONVERSIONS, OLD SARUM, RAISE THE CURTAIN or the like. It’s more the energy and the shrieking of singer Victoria (she doesn’t just screech, but when she does she does it well) that brings to mind hardcore though, as the band never really hits the tempos associated with most of that genre. Victoria’s in between song rants on the ills of this society we all live in also take this to a political punk zone that one does not usually find paired with music as fun to listen to as DOWNTOWN BOYS’ music is.
This band’s self titled record is hardly new, but it’s new enough to me, and we haven’t written about before so let’s do it! Out of the 10 songs one finds on the record my favorite has to be “Car Boys”, a male and female vocal back and forth with a bouncy punk energy that I haven’t heard in a while. Bringing saxes into the punk rock mix is a dangerous move, but the dual sax attack employed by DB really adds to the overall, making this stew of high energy punk rock, and wild woman singer all the more interesting. Vocals pass from Victoria to guitarist Joey and then onto full band shouts seamlessly as the rhythm section charges on and the saxes play it cool. And that’s every song, but it never gets boring because the approach is continuously switched up, and the arrangements are pretty weird. This band and its music feels like a rolling ball of energy and fury, set to go off the rails at any moment, but somehow, someway it continues to barrel ahead smashing into your brain and spreading it’s infectious energy and enthusiasm throughout your body, shooting it right on out of the tips of your fingers and toes. Double bill of DOWNTOWN BOYS and FUNERAL CONE anyone?!