Hailing from Austin, Boyfrndz‘ music certainly befits the stylistic eclecticism the city is known for. From the first glimpse at the album cover for their new album Breeder, you can anticipate a strange but intriguing experience. The music here is overflowing with hypnotic grooves and haunting timbres, but also diverts into bursts of post-hardcore aggression and mathy percussion.
Shambling out of some nightmarish birthing facility, the deformed babies depicted on Breeder‘s cover summon an appropriate atmosphere for the album; with album art in mind, the music can easily conjure the mass-produced abominations wandering an otherwise pristine and beautiful area. Starting from the ominous swells of “Intro” the album explodes into the undulating heaviness of ‘Each Others’, which like many tracks features a short guitar motif repeating throughout the track, weaving its way between layers as the song evolves. This technique is also used to great effect on ‘Shape Shifter’ as the chiming guitar line oscillates deftly between prominence and ambiance.
This repetitive motion evokes the pulsating precision of industrialization, like the music is being churned out by great machines rather than humans, while the slightly washed out production on the vocals combined with the thunderous bass makes the music feel especially massive. The noisy guitar wails crying out and gently feedbacking on tracks like ‘Make Believe’ further manage to unsettle the listener.
Not exactly fitting snuggly into any genre, Boyfrndz eschew math rock hallmarks like abrupt double-stops and guitar tapping in favour of the occasional complex, yet totally head-bangable time signature and an ambitious sonic palette. Breeder presents an extremely coherent musical experience with a real dedication to maintaining a dark mood not commonly seen in math circles. This was my first introduction to this band, but I’ll surely be digging into their substantial back catalogue to see what other deranged concoctions this band has birthed.
Progressive, vocals, post-hardcore, indie, post rock, math rock