In The Red 188
Released on March 23, 2010
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Like it or not, The Strange Boys are probably both younger and
more accomplished than you. Since the band’s humble beginnings
as a duo in 2003, they’ve shared stages with the likes of
Roky Erickson, Daniel Johnston, and Black Lips, leaving a smattering
of singles, EPs, and CDRs in their wake. The band’s fulllength
debut, And Girls Club, wound up on countless best-of-2009
lists and landed them a record deal (outside North America) with
Rough Trade. Now, the Boys kick off 2010 with their follow-up,
Be Brave, and it’s guaranteed to please any and all who appreciate
an infectious mix of ramshackle garage rock, polished Village
Green-era Kinks melodies, and vocals that suggest a young Bob
Dylan had he spent more of his formative years in juvie halls than
coffeehouses. And who can’t dig that?
Be Brave, recorded at The Distillery in Costa Mesa by Mike
McHugh, is the debut of the new, modified Strange Boys lineup.
Original drummer Matt Hammer exited the band and Jenna
Thornhill and Seth Densham of Mika Miko stepped in to fill his
spot. Tim Presley of Darker My Love, a longtime friend of the
group, also appears on the new album and performs with the band
when his schedule permits. The result is an ever-so-slight build
upon the roots-garage template they’ve constructed over the course
of their career so far. The moody parts are now moodier and the
band’s signature groove is now…well…groovier. The Boys internalize
a host of classic pop and rock sub-sub-genres and make them
sound utterly vibrant in the messed-up times of now.