Stack Your Roster label from Canada has released a full stream of the new record from BOY FRIENDS, twinkling, mathy post punk / emo act from Montreal. BOY FRIENDS have been doing their own thing for some time now, if somewhat under the proverbial radar. They began as a quintet in 2012 under the name, The This Many Boyfriends Club, before undergoing a hard stylistic pivot in 2015, prompting themselves to re-brand. With fewer members in tow, they reshaped their punkish demeanor to the contours of a fresh, candid aptitude, and eventually self-produced their debut full length, Magnet School, released in October 2015. If the band wasn’t previously content with the hard shift in their sound, their latest product, fragilism, is something for them to be exceedingly proud of. Though the music is a thing to behold in itself, the group accomplishes other feats with their new record. Like math-rock staples TTNG, Boy Friends here present angular ideas with rounded edges. Their new sound is tighter, more refined, and articulated with a precision unknown in most (if not all) punk circles. Tracks such as “to dream of plant” playfully entertain odd rhythms while delivering listenable musicality.
“Formed years ago under the title, “The This Many Boyfriends Club,” Boy Friends is coming off, according to the band, “a hard stylistic pivot” with the departure of a couple of its founding members. Exclaim.ca has described their song “Finer Points” as “an arty garage-pop number, in which nimble guitar licks and angular rhythms are delivering [sic] with punk brashness.” Casimir Frederic Coquette Kaplan, guitarist and singer, known otherwise as Cas, describes the album thusly, “In ten songs the album embodies the transition between our sugar-shocked pop-post-punk past and our jagged, chimeric present.”
Together, Cas, Andrew (bass), and Evan (drums) promise the interconnection of pop and punk, translating the former through accessible intrigue, and the latter through a tasteful refinement of the cultural institution itself. Effectively, Boy Friends seems poised to reel in a modern focus of the incessant machinations of punk and pop crossover. With angling guitars ringing reminiscent of The Smiths against the rhythmic backdrop hearkening the metrics of Tera Melos, it behooves one to attend Boy Friends at their earliest convenience.”
Born of singer and guitarist Cas’s “paranoia and dread,” fragilism isn’t without its own personal anxieties. The band maintains its jangly sound with twanging guitars approaching full dissonance, musically reflecting a certain cosmopolitan uneasiness. When asked about the album’s subject matter, Cas responded thusly:
I realized that cities are built to enforce fixed perspectives on the progress of daily life, and like pretty much everything else in this world, the realization instilled in me misgivings about the authorship of my life. if i was the protagonist, i would be living in someone else’s perspective; if i was the protagonist, who would be watching me, from where? what would they say?