Review by Tony Rounce
The DIY scene continues to grow at grass roots level, and each week brings impressive new bands aiming to convince you that you need to add their gigs to your Facebook events calendar. This week it’s the turn of South London’s Boys Of The Hole to bring you a debut EP that will hopefully put them on your ‘to see’ list. Once you’ve heard it, there’s a better than good chance that it will.
If you’ve seen the delightful Bitch Hunt, Boys Of The Hole is a slightly more boisterous version thereof – which, given that the two groups share certain members, is not too surprising. The Boys themselves say that their sound is “sometimes delicate and pretty, but mostly rowdy and fun, and they write about messy sexual experiences, Internet dating, pizza, crisps, and feelings”. Not all in the same song, of course. But they are all topics that are covered during the course of their frequently rowdy, largely fun debut E.P., released digitally at the end of January with the promise of the possibility of a limited run of a physical CD on the horizon – and hopefully coming closer by the day.
The Boys also say that their music will appeal to fans of the Breeders, Cherry Glazerr and the Pixies. I can only agree, as I like all of those artists and I like Boys Of The Hole too. There’s an agreeably abrasive quality to their songs that they share with the latter in particular, particularly in the no-punches-pulled lyrics of some of the songs – emphatically to the point at one end of the scale, where you’ll find the ‘Messy Bitch’ who ‘fell asleep in your vegan kebab’ and ‘got a chocolate egg stuck’ somewhere that probably shouldn’t be discussed in a public forum. They sound like they might be the friend from hell, but you might also wish you had the chutzpah to be them.
At the other end of the scale, ‘Flavour’ is the Boys’ playful homage to what our American cousins like to call Potato Chips. It lists all my favourite flavours and hopefully some of yours, too. Somewhere in between lies ‘Ll( a sensitive declaration of romantic rebound that says ‘I got your ‘Feelings’ right here’. All five of the songs tell their own individual stories in a way that will not be lost on any listener, even though the balance of the audio is sometimes a little on the murky side and made it hard to hear them in places.
This though is the true sound of the DIY scene – low in fidelity, but high in aims and ambitions that are frequently firmly fulfilled across the five tracks on offer. As noted already, the mix is a bit wayward in places, but the creative process is sincere, honest and faultless. Not everything needs to sound like it came out of Abbey Road Studios and, let’s face it, most of the best music rarely does. Everything here points to a positive future, with lots more rowdiness and fun and possibly even Pickled Onion and Sour Cream & Chive crisps to add to the Boys’ flavours. A very fine debut, on the Hole…
Boys Of The Hole (the E.P.) is out now digitally, and can be streamed and/or bought via Bandcamp. Boys Of The Hole (the band) are playing Not Your Galentines Day at South London’s Amersham Arms (near Deptford) on February 14th. You can follow them on Instagram