God bless The Strange Boys. Listening to Be Brave, their sophomore LP induces a feeling akin to waking up with a foggy yet forgiving hangover on Saturday morning in a house you’ve never seen before. And your choices are many; either you could join the party still happening in the other room (With folks you still can’t remember) or you can walk alone into the wild. Either way, you’ve got this feeling in the pit of your stomach that good things are going to happen. And on Be Brave, they most certainly do.
After the release of their jangly lo-fi masterpiece And Girls Club, this young six-piece wasted little time (11 months, to be precise) to release their equally gratifying follow-up, Be Brave. Here’s a band that’s not only full of enough piss and vinegar but a work ethic that would put many of their elder contemporaries to shame. And the proof is in the tunes; tracks like “Friday In Paris” sway with a consistent jangle reminiscent of The Kinks while the brooding but never depressing groove of “Laugh At Sex, Not At Her” brings to mind some of The Velvet Underground’s finer work. Lofty comparisons, sure. But this is a group for whom boundaries do not exist.
The giddy snarl of lead singer Ryan Sambol leads each of the twelve lo-fi gems on Be Brave. Their sound has expanded, if only slightly on Be Brave. They’re not exactly verging on experimental territory, but it’s a good sign when a band can stray from their trademark jangly, garage sound and come out sounding even better. This is a band that will most certainly do great things.
By Joshua Kloke[Rating: 5/5]