Like it or not, The Strange Boys are probably both younger and more accomplished than you. Since the band's humble beginnings as a duo in 2003, they've shared stages with the likes of Roky Erickson, Daniel Johnston, and Black Lips, leaving a smattering of singles, EPs, and CDRs in their wake. The band's full-length debut, And Girls Club, wound up on countless best-of-2009 lists and landed them a record deal (outside North America) with Rough Trade. Now, the Boys kick off 2010 with their follow-up, Be Brave, and it's guaranteed to please any and all who appreciate an infectious mix of ramshackle garage rock, polished Village Green-era Kinks melodies, and vocals that suggest a young Bob Dylan had he spent more of his formative years in juvie halls than coffeehouses. And who can't dig that?
Be Brave, recorded at The Distillery in Costa Mesa by Mike McHugh, is the debut of the new, modified Strange Boys line-up. Original drummer Matt Hammer exited the band and Jenna Thornhill and Seth Densham of Mika Miko stepped in to fill his spot. Tim Presley of Darker My Love, a longtime friend of the group, also appears on the new album and performs with the band when his schedule permits. The result is an ever-so-slight build upon the roots-garage template they've constructed over the course of their career so far. The moody parts are now moodier and the band's signature groove is now...well...groovier. The Boys internalize a host of classic pop and rock sub-sub-genres and make them sound utterly vibrant in the messed-up times of now.
... a raunchy interpretation of Bob Dylan at the height of his coolness. --The Needle Drop