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Booji Boys - "Unknown Pleathers" | Album Review


by Matt Keim

Booji Boys move as a unit on their new 7", Unknown Pleathers (Sewercide Records), pummeling their way through five tracks that do not let up. Its as if they cannot wait to get these songs out of their bodies. The guitars have quick-changing rhythms that can switch into bursts of squealing leads at any moment. Alex Mitchell's vocals, all of them distorted to be nearly indecipherable, scrape their way out of the madness. The nonstop attack of the drums and bass creates an air of frantic desperation. With all this energy, everything has the potential to become unhinged, but they are so tight that every change turns into another twist in a thrilling ride. This ability to push up to the edge of chaos without falling in creates a thrilling record. It is a crystallization of the energy of a basement show into ten minutes of fantastic punk music.

The opening song, “I Wanna Be So Good,” introduces the band with a half a moment of incredibly dirty guitar before launching off as a group into the best straight up punk song on the record. It sounds as if Alex Mitchell has fallen into a pit, and no matter how many times he yells how we wants to be good, there is no escape. It’s true that Booji Boys occasionally get lumped into a genre of Midwest punk called Devo-core, and the track, “New Personnel” could certainly share a seat on that bus, but the remaining three songs on this EP stretch out and push into other genres. “Kanadian Kontent” is a mass of chromatic distorted guitars that turn into a West-Cali skate punk song. They even release an infectious pop melody on the driving “Locked (Barely Open)”.

They saved the best for last, though, with the final track, “Unknown Pleathers.” It has quick riffs, the best melodies and lyrics on the album, and a chorus that someone needs to blast while driving a convertible at 100mph into the sunset. Yes there’s a post-punk guitar lick, and yes this song may not be the one to make you throw yourself into a mass of drunken punks in a basement, but Booji Boys have taken all their relentless energy, skill, and recklessness and turned it into something beautiful.