Before I get started I’m going to dish out a rare complement. Loud Boyz have a good, fitting name. Even the record title, Tough Love, Hard Feelings is apt of their sound: rough, distant, yet with a clear emotional connection. Sure, the record cover is…let’s say odd, and I kind of hate the whole “z” in place of “s” thing, but let’s focus on the positives here. This is a review and those are supposed to be all rainbows and lollipops, right?
Shee-it. That digressed quickly.
Also in tune with their name is that it’s loud and to the point. I guess the members are all male too if we want to keep it going. For whatever reason the name had me thinking garage rock, but this is more ‘80s-schooled hardcore. It’s coarse and a hair lo-fi, production-wise, giving it a heart behind the shrapnel. “Hard Feelings” is a gruff as hell song with a chugging beat but driving chord progressions, making it some real fist-in-the-air rawk whereas “World Is a Cage” is harsh, grainy, and brutal. In fact, that graininess carries through all 11 songs/22 minutes, especially in the recording of the bass which is mixed up front to really carry that gritty element across the overall album.
While I could go all track-by-track and deep here, Loud Boyz are best to let run wild on their own. The songs have titles like “Knives,” “Hard Feelings,” “World Is a Cage,” and then “Boyz Who Brunch,” “Loud Boyz in Love,” and “Loud Boyz Anthem.” It’s loud, furious, and has a touch of empathy buried in that spite. Recommended for fans of hardcore punk where both of those descriptors belong. Predictably unpredictable and lovably under produced. It’s sweaty music for a dirty basement or a concrete room with padded walls.
8.5 / 10
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