by Boy Friends
released September 9, 2016
Boy Friends have been doing their own thing for some time now, if somewhat under the proverbial radar. They began as a quintet in 2012 under the name, The This Many Boyfriends Club, before undergoing a hard stylistic pivot in 2015, prompting themselves to re-brand. With fewer members in tow, they reshaped their punkish demeanor to the contours of a fresh, candid aptitude, and eventually self-produced their debut full length, Magnet School, released in October 2015.
If the band wasn’t previously content with the hard shift in their sound, their latest product, fragilism, is something for them to be exceedingly proud of. Though the music is a thing to behold in itself, the group accomplishes other feats with their new record. Like math-rock staples TTNG, Boy Friends here present angular ideas with rounded edges. Their new sound is tighter, more refined, and articulated with a precision unknown in most (if not all) punk circles. Tracks such as “to dream of plant” playfully entertain odd rhythms while delivering listenable musicality.
Born of singer and guitarist Cas’s “paranoia and dread,” fragilism isn’t without its own personal anxieties. The band maintains its jangly sound with twanging guitars approaching full dissonance, musically reflecting a certain cosmopolitan uneasiness. When asked about the album’s subject matter, Cas responded thusly:
i realized that cities are built to enforce fixed perspectives on the progress of daily life, and like pretty much everything else in this world, the realization instilled in me misgivings about the authorship of my life. if i was the protagonist, i would be living in someone else’s perspective; if i was the protagonist, who would be watching me, from where? what would they say?
This poignant self-awareness pervades fragilism so eloquently and so vastly that one would be remiss to give it but one lazy spin. At ten songs in length, the album has ample space to explore itself, an important practice for artists, giving way to change-on-a-dime song structures (“mice in movies”) and experimentation with rhythmic space (“metronom”). fragilism is simply the band’s best, most complete work to date. Enjoy it on here or on bandcamp.
Art by higu