Boyfriends / Boys & Sex - A Shared Record [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Boyfriends / Boys & Sex

A Shared Record [7-inch] (2010)

Slow Growth

Boyfriends and Boys & Sex are two bands with pretty similar themes on their mind, seemingly. Musically, they make a good pair for this split 7" too.

After a long-winded, bitter voicemail from a (potential lady?)friend, Boyfriends propel into their signature sound on opener "1(800)baddough": riffy, circling noodle guitars and gravelly, shattered vocals. You know this sound by now. We've described it a thousand times. But when you do it well, it's enjoyable, and Boyfriends do it well. Think similar emo revival acts like early CSTVT, or My Heart to Joy just before they were no longer "at the Same Tone." Where Boyfriends frequently used consciousness as a metaphor on their self-titled 7", they're more environmental here: "We drive and I find myself envious of the pine boughs" goes the first line in "1(800)baddough", while the slightly more frenetic (and at the end, spacier) "Marc Is Gary" immediately pronounces, "Your excess is the chisel at the base of the mountain."

Boys & Sex don't stray far from A Shared Record's formula: squiggly, intertwining guitars and contrasting vocals. In fact, their yell is even more seared, the kind of incomprehensible bark that makes little to no sense against the music, but works well enough. When "Peach Juice" starts, you think you're getting the kind of cool, nimble track the Promise Ring might have offered in the mid-'90s, until that sheared yell is yowled overtop. It's a bit of a curveball. Their lyrics are similarly anguished and achingly pretty, though a little more simply stated: "These things, they pile up. / Magic moments, they collect dust, / and the 'I love you's, they start to rust. / ... / I feel like I live in your storm and shit."

A Shared Record EP