B Boys – Dudu
In the simplest terms, New York band B Boys construct songs with angular guitar work and vocal chants, held together by mid-tempo drumming. If such a vague description sounds familiar, it might be because similar things get written about local band Omni. Not to mention the required comparisons to Gang of Four, Wire and other seminal post-punk bands from the U.K, where weirdos in the late ’70s stopped updating the less-than-three-minute pop song and created something of their own.
On further dissection, B Boys’ new album Dudu offers more than a trip down memory lane and a chance to get “Damaged Goods” stuck in your head. (Yeah, I mostly know Gang of Four from starter punk compilations. Sue me.) The trio dust off old blueprints to create something reflecting modern struggles and dystopian fears across 15 brand new tracks.
“Automation” might be the best, new punk-ish song of the summer, based as much on that sweet bass line as the group’s summation on lower class angst. Other standout tracks include the pulsing rant “Instant Pace,” an unholy marriage of West Coast punk and military marches titled “No,” selfishness send-up “I Want,” and simplistic take on the human condition “Taste for Trash.” I love the South and affordable rent too much to know, but these songs probably reflect the struggles that go along with the benefits of living near New York City, an outsider music hub that magnifies the ugliness in these songs.
The term “singular purpose” has become an album review cliché, but it really does apply to B Boys. The trio upholds a formula based on the past and written to reflect the here-and-now. That approach sounds even sharper than before because Dudu‘s rawer and more anxious than its relatively slick predecessor, 2017’s Dada.