Downtown Boys - Cost Of Living
Formed in Providence, Downtown Boys have become one of the most ambitious punk bands around in just 5 short years since their formation. In that time they’ve nicely channelled the nervous energy of Wire and the angular bravado of Fugazi while challenging the expectations of the traditional punk ethos. They’ve proven themselves to be non-conformist, politically charged and they’re comprised of a diverse lineup.
Speaking of Fugazi, Guy Picciotto has produced their new LP, Cost Of Living, their first for Sub Pop following their self-released debut in 2012 and Full Communism for Don Giovanni in 2015. Picciotto has helped the band by broadening their sound, not so much in instrumentation or dynamics, but in its finer detail. The Downtown Boys sound richer and fuller, perhaps even meaner with singer Victoria Ruiz sounding simply riotous and devastatingly enraged. And for good reason. Cost Of Living is pretty much the ideal record for these confusing and frightening times. Musically, the songs are pretty raw and lean with gnarly guitars and pummeling bass carrying the weight and the occasional tenor sax and synth chipping in. But again, Ruiz is the force that gives Downtown Boys their identity. She knows when to lean back and get her point across with a simple lyric and when to holler, holding nothing back. Whether she’s singing in English or Spanish, she’s truly magnetic.
Jumping to Sub Pop has taken none of the piss and vinegar out of Downtown Boys. If anything they send even more vital and important than they did 2 years ago. If you’re looking for something to rally behind in these cautionary times, this band is it. (Dom)
Check out a track here.