The Boys @ The Zoo, 05.10.11
By Tom Fiend
I saw Brisbane grunge outfit The Boys last night at the Zoo. There was a small but extremely passionate crowd of supporters which was nice for them, though it did feel like it was only them that were being catered to. Still, I really enjoyed the songs they played, and the high level of musicianship. The stage seemed a little crowded, especially for a grunge band bordering on stoner rock. My head count saw the band numbering six with a rhythm and lead guitar, bass player, percussionist, keyboard player and excitable front-woman. It’s probably just my preference for stripped-down rock but it seemed a bit redundant to me.
Their influences are in no way hidden, taking cues from the likes of Babes In Toyland, Bikini Kill and regrettably, Hole. I’m coming across as a bit of an asshole here, aren’t I? I’d like to point out just how fucking cool the lead guitarist, Rachel, is. She played their set effortlessly with a wry dignity that was terribly compelling. The bass lines were tight and well written and the low rhythm guitar lines complimented the lead guitar work well with frightening chemistry.
The front-woman Jordan was somewhat of an enigma. She has a good set of pipes on her (as in, her voice) though she seemed somewhat more prepossessed with showing off her other pipes while simultaneously espousing the evils of template beauty. All in all I’d prefer less Courtney Love between-song diatribes, more Mia Zapata rock and fucking roll. Now I think about it, the way to make this band better in my eyes would be to put Rachel on dual vox/guitar duties, ditch the keyboard player (who was only noticeable in one or two songs) and you’ve got a fucking sweet four-piece Riot Grrrl band whose CD I would totally buy.
I think I see a lynch mob on the horizon.
To try to finish this one a high note, I think this is a band full of potential. I would definitely like to see them again, preferably somewhere a bit more low-key like the 4zzz carpark. On another upside, they’ve caused me to spend the past 20 minutes revisiting The Gits, so that’s nice.
Photography: Jessie Darby