Recent reviews:

10/15: Alien Boy
10/11: Foamek
10/8: Fuzz Evil
10/4: He Arrived By Helicopter
10/1: United Ghosts
9/27: Baeilou
9/24: Walter Gorra
9/20: Broken Baby
9/17: Great Lake Swimmers
9/13: Mystic Braves

Archives (1991-2018)

Search A&A and the web:


Hardly slack

Back in the day when Superchunk wasn't middle-aged, there was this lovely fuzzy poppy punk sound that wrapped up the ears and made everything alright. Actually, Superchunk still does this pretty well in middle age, but most folks have moved on to other sounds. And that's a damned shame.

Alien Boy
Sleeping Lessons
(Tine Engines)

Alien Boy feels the same way. These fuzzed out, slightly-faster-than-midtempo shouters are totally lovely. For the kids who still don't understand my description, think of your favorite modern shoegazer album and add a few bottles of 5 Hour Energy.

Sonia Weber's vocals are pitch perfect. That is, they're slightly more melodic than a shout, and expressed in full-throated roar most of the time. Yes. That's how you do this. Add some ringing guitar and a lot of bash in the rhythm section and the stew is about complete.

Not a reinvention, but not a slavish bit of plagiarism, either. Alien Boy is a band out of time, and I couldn't be happier about that. This is a classic sound that never goes out of style. Wonderfully breathless.