Boys Age // Tiger! Tiger!
Little L Records
Recommended Track: A Pair of Eyes
I hadn’t heard of Boys Age before writing this review, but they’ve been around since 2010, citing inspirations such as Nat King Cole, Television and “Lou Leed”, among others. Early Brian Eno seems to be represented the most, and while it would be careless not to make comparisons between them and seminal “Velvet Underground of Japan” Rallizes Des Nudes, Boys Age is undoubtedly much more pop oriented and has a singer that brings to mind the vocal stylings of a drunk Muppet, sometimes drifting into a strangulated ZZ Top warble.
At first I enjoyed the synth horns on the opening track, “A Pair Of Eyes”, but as they continued to reappear throughout Tiger! Tiger!, I experienced a growing feeling of dread. Paired with the Muppet voice, I began to feel palpably upset. Is this what Boys Age wants? It turns out “Pair Of Eyes” is by far the best song on the album, the rest deteriorating into seasick and bright pop ballads, never reaching the high water mark of the initial track.
Another standout song is “It’ll Be Good Weather” the slightly off key synth mixing with swirling guitars dancing on the edge of cacophony, narrated by a drunk and insane Japanese man. While explicitly designed to drive you crazy, there is something good about this album that you can’t put your finger on. Ultimately, despite myriad influences, Boys Age are doing something that you can’t easily chalk up to idol worship or rock and roll posturing. This is their own material played in their own ridiculous way, and it’s difficult not to have respect for that.