Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Album Review: Downtown Boys- Full Communism

Downtown Boys
Full Communism
*** out of *****

The six piece punk outfit Downtown Boys from Providence, Rhode Island have crafted a wailing record with Full Communism that bubbles over with energy. Comprised of Adrienne Berry, Joey L DeFrancesco, Emmett FitzGerald, Norlan Olivo, Mary Regalado, Victoria Ruiz this release on Don Giovanni Records has earned them national attention and with good reason.

The groups main selling point is their horn section pairing with punk that borders hardcore as the quick tracks all are accentuated by two saxophones that at times lock in or rail against each other. The blowing brass add a sense of uniqueness but it is the passion and angst that gives these tracks their meaning.

"Wave of History" opens things with snapping snares and nasal screams while "Santa" moves more to the hardcore-punk arena with Spanish vocals, while incorporating a great horn swing. A cover of Los Prisionero's "Poder Elegir" turns up the bass and ska influence, while "Traders" mixes balls out rawness and softness excellently. The core of a rock band (drums-guitar-bass) is all fuzzy and present, but it is the powerful horns that jump to the forefront and elevate these tracks.  

The album, like lots of good punk, is messy. Things don't always line up like the surprisingly thin "100% Inheritance Tax" or "Monstro" which starts out promising but at almost three and a half minutes sticks around too long to make it's pro-minority women point effective.

This fighting for the underdog is at the core of the band and lead singer Ruiz comes through extremely powerful in her stance, if not always in her nasal screech. While it works for the urgent tracks like "Future Police", it can become overwhelmed on the bigger numbers like the bands disk closing cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Dancing In The Dark" which had the potential to be a showstopper.  

One of the better tracks is title "Break a Few Eggs" and that is a great summation of the disk. The band is going for it and should be applauded as the swelling horns rise and the fury is unleashed. Downtown Boys are angry at the world around them, they think you should be too, and they want to work with you to better it.
Support the band, buy the album, stream some tracks on bandcamp, and peep some video below:

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