Soon after our recent premiere of their new full catalogue release “A Discography of Mediocre Punk Rock (2009-2012)” in cooperation with Count Your Lucky Stars, Lancaster emo revivalists BOYFRIENDS are back to our pages with their first hand commentary for each set of songs featured on the new offering.
For fans of: Hot Water Music, Small Brown Bike, Planes Mistaken for Stars.
BF1-3 are perhaps the most focused and intentional effort Boyfriends put forth. We were starting to take the band a little more seriously as an endeavor; playing more shows up and down the east coast with friends and spending more time in Headroom Studios in Philadelphia with Joe Reinhart. The result was these three untitled songs. We played them live a lot. With Brian and I tightening up as a rhythm section and Matt and Mike collaborating on songwriting, we came up with something I really love. These are my favorite songs we ever made. Perhaps it’s because they were really only released on Peter Helmis’ tape label, Pete’s Tapes; like fifty copies. Or maybe, it’s the more focused lyrical content that endears these songs to me. You’ll find the range of topics include ecumenical derision, inequity and social injustice, deep loss and childhood talismans.
The instrumental track appeared on Biff Swenson Presents: Obsolete Vernacular. At the time Biff was putting out various themed compilations; they’re all great. Matt and I couldn’t make the trip to play on this one, so Brian and Mike did everything including the engineering and production at Big Mama’s warehouse in Philly. The recording is haunting, with layered guitars and tons of reverb.
A Shared Record – Boyfriends/Boys and Sex
Marc is Gary
Our split with Boys and Sex and the Boyfriends self-titled seven inch were recorded in the same weekend with Joe. The weekend was wild and full of friends and gang vocals in the garage at Big Mama’s. These are the songs I think of when I think of Boyfriends. They’re playful and sneaky,and at turns heavy and fragile. It felt like we were chasing something, catharsis maybe. The prank voicemail at the beginning of “Doug” was one of three received during the sessions. After careful scrutiny and debate, it was named the funniest and we included it. The conversation at the beginning of Too Wild for Wild was captured while we rebooted the computer. The vocal mics were set up in the garage. It was completely candid. For the sake of context, Kevin Ludwig is telling everyone why he loves Kurt Russell so much.
Real Serious Shit
People Stuff through Untitled were our first foray into studio recording with the band. They were recorded by Mike Musser at the Sugar Tank in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. I loved that studio. They turned it into luxury lofts for young capitalist gentrifiers a few years ago. It’s an eyesore. We had just changed our name from Barf Academy to Boyfriends. I was still just singing and hadn’t started playing bass. I love the tones on this one. It’s warm like a shaft of sunlight in a cold room. We never returned to mix these songs, so what you’re hearing are the rough bounces from the board. We most likely ran out of money.
Barf Academy Demo
Chobra Son (Barf Academy Edit) Four
The remaining songs were our first demos. Joint Chiefs of Math were recording their first record in our basement at the Stomping Grounds. They were still set up and we asked Kevin and Mark if they could track a few demos for us. It’s a time and place for sure. The recordings are raw and unpolished, much like ourselves at the time. The samples are from spiritual luminary, Deepak Chopra. I remember recording the vocals in our kitchen while holding onto an avocado pit. I think I still have it somewhere.
Thanks for listening.