STAND BY THE D.A.N.C.E. - Forgotten Boys (ST2 Music)
Brazil might be best known for services to extreme waxing, dental floss masquerading as thongs and sheltering not-so-great train robber Ronnie Biggs, but the place could shine some spotlight the way of its local rock 'n' roll produce. To wit, the raw-edged guitars and hip-shaking goodness of bands like Forgotten Boys.
Forgotten Boys keep it simple - and play it simply tight. It's the sort of hard 'n' heavy riffage that's timeless and five years ago might have had them pegged them as Swedes with a suntan, such was the dominance of Scandinavia on this playing field. It's hard to see
A & R men braving a long flight and heading as far as Brazil in search of new bands to break (although the place has other, er, attractions for expense account major label types).
Forgotten Boys are still more punk than metal but sound like they're playing also things with a view to durability. It's easy for this sort of music to become one-dimsensional but their edge lies in the melodic drive they impart. Plus they aren't blinkered by stylistic borders in looking for new fields to hoe. This album works because Forgotten Boys are pacing themselves and playing up the dynamics of their songs. That's no criticism of the last disc - their first US release and a real surprise packet - but more a reflection that they're probably looking for ways to expand their sound.
To this end, songs like "Different Taste" and the soulful "Get Load" wouldn't have been out of place on the last Hellacopters album. The songs revolve around the core members but they aren't afraid to bring in backing singers, percussionists - whatever gets the job done.
There are flat-out barnburners and two sung in Portugese, with the balance in English. Variety and high-energy abound. There's also an absolutely fantastic Stonesy song, the closing "Just Done", that sounds like it should have been on the last Strolling Bones album. Here's where smoky bar room piano mixes it with a swinging backbeat, swaggering guitars, and Chuck Hipolitho's expressive vocal You can even watch the film clip as a bonus MPEG.
A (dance?) step ahead of the rest, I reckon. - The Barman
GIMME MORE (AND SOME) The Forgotten Boys (No Fun Records)
Talk about a gem! Lots of bands are being lumped in to the category of so-called (cringe) “nu rock” but the smart ones have been playing the Real Rock Action long before marketeers got a toehold. These Brazilians (you have no idea how hard I was trying to work that adjective into a sentence with the word “wax”) on a small Ann Arbor, Michigan, label are top shelf. Not a shadow of a doubt.
I’d already been impressed with these guys as backing band for under-rated Aussie Simon Chainsaw on his “Basta” album (the guy has impeccable choice of bandmates), so it was with eager anticipation that I bunged this 19-track extravaganza into the player. It did not disappoint: Fluid engine room, loads of withering guitar and snottily aggressive, sometimes mildly laconic, vocals that fit the deal, this three-piece punches well above its weight.
The Forgotten Boys pre-date the almost certainly short-lived media/marketing pre-occupation with “garage rock” but blow away almost any of the current darlings you want to name. The secret is in the engine room of Flavio Cavichioll (drums) and Chuck Hipolitho (bass) who know how to play a song fast rather than pummel it to death. One-note piano (“Cumm On”) and cowbell (“No Surprises”) are extra occasional elements that The Vines would never employ as well as this. Come to think of it, they don’t use things called “songs” either – which is why tracks like ”Diesel”, the acrid “She Brings My Love Back” and the grandiose but simple “Musketeer” don’t wear out their welcome.
The concept of so many songs (there are 19!) might imply a proportion of throwaways but in this case, quantity does not mean overkill or breed contempt. This is actually an album with a split-album appended, these are simple tunes done well. Punk with lots of rock. There's even a Dolls reference in "Rock 'n' Roll Band" (see if you can spot it).
I was going to invoke a lot of names of bands from the US underground and Eurotrash scenes but somehow stepped back, mostly for fear that this pigeonholing might prompt hesitance on the part of potential buyers. But fuck it here's two observations – there’s a big streak of Turbonegro in “Cumm On” that’s impossible to deny and “Musketeer” sounds like the current day Hard Ons.
Anyway, if you must use our reviews as a yardstick - and you like honest-to-goodness rock-punk (note careful choice of term) - take the plunge. No Fun can hook you up. – The Barman
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