I’ve found being a fan of The Boys a frustrating exercise. It is that usual frustration that creeps in with most local acts I’ve enjoyed over the past decade where I love the band in the live arena but find that the recorded material never matches up. While The Boys debut EP provided initial excitement it didn’t have the longevity that I was hoping for. The bands live shows have however continued to be exciting and a lot more thrilling experience. So it was with excitement and also a degree hesitance that I sat down to review the new single from The Boys called “One Month Without Sex (DTF)” which was recently released as part of the 100 songs in 100 hours (Indie 100) compilation.
The title I must admit instantly turned me off and I had to really push past the shallow theme of it to make sure that I did my best to listen to the song objectively. For some reason that title really bugged me, it is a little too careerist for my tastes and I debated if it was titled in this way because it was meant to be tongue in cheek humour or a literal first world complaint song, I have a sneaking suspicion it is the latter. The title aside, my main goal was to find a way for this song to resonate with me, to leave me feeling changed and most of all I wanted to see if the song had the capacity to heal the woes of a bad day. Since the 29th May 2013 I’ve been living with this song and playing it through my headphones, my home stereo, my car stereo and making sure I listened to it at all times of the day. I attempted to make it my “Start the Day” song, my “Car Ride from the Day Job” song, my “Public Transport” song and of course my “I’m in Emotional Pain” song. I treated this song like it was going to be the only thing to save me. I don’t think I’d lived with a song as much as this one before reviewing it and after eleven days I think I learnt a lot about what I do and what I don’t like about The Boys and their music.
To begin with I will say that this is by far the strongest song The Boys have ever written and the band has certainly evolved creatively since their first EP. The guitars soar and the rhythm section is ultramega tight which give a good pace to the song. My main complaints about this song come down to its length, lack of dynamics and the vocals. I reckon the song needs to be half the length it currently is. If it was about 2 minutes and one second long then it would have been more effective as a piece of communication. Due to the song being as long as it is it runs out of ideas real fast hence the lack of dynamics being a problem. So straight away by shortening the song the band would kill two birds with one stone and after listening to it just now I’m convinced that it would also tackle the issue of the vocals. There is a passion in the way Jordan sings for sure but it has a habit of veering into the kind of over singing that your talent show contestants indulge in. I think overall the vocals could be more dynamic in regards to how they are used within the song. I want to believe the words and the pain but the truth is I just don’t, it all sounds a little too rehearsed and clichéd drama wise. I’m sure for someone younger than me it may just be what they need to hear but the kind of pain in this song has a used by date and clearly I’m way past it.
Look, I feel terrible being this critical of a band that I think are so great every time I see them live but my job is to report the truth and what I feel when I listen to the music I’m asked to review and I have to be honest and say I was underwhelmed by this song. I gave it quite an epic amount of air time to give it the chance to sink in and there were moments where I was merely entertained by it as opposed to being emotionally saved. The reason I rush out to buy a record by a band is because I am looking for it to act as a vehicle of escapism and to really help solve and soothe the cruelty of life. All the bands that I love are wonderful at providing this and for the last eleven days I tried to get that rush and thrill from The Boys and their song “One Month Without Sex (DTF)” but it just didn’t happen.
Does this make The Boys a bad band?
Not at all, it just means that I’m not really the target market. They are still a band that I support regardless of my feelings on this song and as I said in my previous review of their debut EP “more arty, less party” is the best way forward for the band.
It’s clear who The Boys are influenced by when you listen to “One Month Without Sex (DTF)” but I reckon if they want to be artists as opposed to entertainers then they should stop listening to rock n roll and delve a bit deeper into some of the more alternative forms of artistic expression in order to strengthen the way they communicate their feelings and emotions.
My first piece of advice would be for every member of The Boys to buy a copy of “Big Science” by Laurie Anderson and study the following song “O Superman” on a daily basis:
“O Superman” is a great pop song about pain, angst, struggling with your sexuality and the dilemmas of growing up and remaining sexless for longer than one month.
7 Cassette Tapes Out Of 10
By: Dan Newton
The Boys will be supporting US band THE BELLRAYS at THE HI-FI on THURSDAY 13 JUNE and will be playing alongside DZ DEATHRAYS, MILLIONS and GUNG HO at VALLEY VIBES 2013 on SUNDAY 16 JUNE.
Listen to “One Month Without Sex (DTF)” on the following link: