Croy and the Boys - Of Course They Do [EP] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Croy and the Boys

Of Course They Do [EP] (2021)


This could have been “too” cute. It could have been stupid. It could have been try-hard. But, astoundingly, it’s not. In fact, it’s hilarious and poignant.

Croy and the Boys are a Texan alt-country band and as Of Course They Do shows, they’ve got something of a punk background. They take six tracks, most of which are punk or punkish, and take them from three chord smashing to easy grooving honky tonk.It works. It works really, really well.

The main winner is the warp of Crass’ “Do they owe us a living.” The band abandons the music side, but keeps Steve Ignorant’s biting lyrics and turns the track into a Waylon Jennings style lament. The point has been made before, but at their core, punk, country, and Hip Hop are all folk music. That being said, rarely has the point been made this well. It’s a testament to the Boys that they are able to build such a tightly written, dare I say professional, musical bedding for the track that really could fit on any Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton, or Ronnie Milsap album you can find. It’s a testament to Steve Ignorant that this lyrics transcend genre, decade, continent, and even political background. I wonder if Steve knows it, but he has cut a tune as timeless as a Woodie Guthrie song and it’s nice that Croy and pals make that clear.

The re-cut of Negative Approach’s “Ready to fight” works almost as well. But, were the song used to be John Brannon gunning for some undescribed authority figure, now it appears to be an outlaw country anthem. The addition of the oompah accordion is a nice touch. The Billy Bragg and Blaze Foley covers aren’t quite as shocking as both of those artists (especially Billy) have previous made a point similar to the one here. Though, maybe if the band covered ALL smashing punk and nothing else, the knife wouldn’t cut as deep. You could argue that the Negative Approach and Crass covers are shocking at their face, but the band supplants that dissonance with Billy Bragg to show the chasm isn’t nearly so wide.

The main reason this gambit works is because no one here is trying to be silly. Rather, the band sees the connection between punk and country and earnestly takes that challenge head on. This isn’t the band mugging for the microphone. This is a band laying down this long running thesis in a compact and digestible form. The fact that it is kind of funny, is because the band is so serious about it, but there self-aware too, though they don’t acknowledge that part. Consider too, that, this is funny because in 2021, we don’t often associate easy-grooving country with political upheaval… but if we look back to country in the 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s, this contrast wouldn’t be nearly so pronounced- what does that say about the power of the music industry and capitalism? One also notes that punk still doesn’t make too much money while country makes A LOT of money for the people at the top.