Listen here: ALIEN BOYS - NIGHT DANGER LP on Desolate Records.
Vancouver’s Rebel Spell were one of the more accessible bands for people to get into. When I heard them in my early 20’s they were an important band for me as I grew into being some semblance of an adult and though my ear has gravitated towards sounds that aren’t based in the modern street-rock/melodic punk, I’m typically interested at least peripherally in anything they do. Alien Boys feature one member from The Rebel Spell in guitarist Erin Wretched - a person I lent a Foucault book to after pretending to read it. Sometimes attempts to look smart and cool are fun to remember years later after and you’re still not cool or smart enough to read it. Erin, if you’re reading this, I don’t care and I don’t want the book back. The first time seeing them was memorable for just how excited they are when they play. They’re not sneering, they’re smiling big goofy smiles while their singer Sara (an absolute shoe-in for a bio-pic about Mia Zapata or the Gits - Listen to that voice) crowds a microphone spitting words at you.
Sara, as a lyricist recites almost diary-like lines with a heavy socio-political slant that mirrors the work they’ve been committed to in the Downtown East Side of Vancouver for so long, as well as their own personal experiences. This is not unlike what you would have heard in a Gits recording. In general, this struggle is common - and sharpened when combined with the inherent urgency of punk rock. But there is far more time exposing the listener to the personal experiences than political posturing. Musically, the finest moment is buried in the B-side of record with the NWOBHM tinged ‘Whose Bodies?’ which adds a bit more texture to an otherwise straight form punk rock. As a whole, there is a lot to digest here but it still maintains it’s accessibility. Alien Boys might be preaching to the choir or influencing the young or annoying the jaded depending on what side you’re on but they’re merely singing about what they believe in while playing the music they love the most. There are more than a few moments that I find myself having to turn back a few seconds to catch exactly what’s being said as some of these 2 minute songs have a zine’s worth of words to them but it’s all very heart-on-sleeve and as honest as hate. Alien Boys are releasing this testimonial on February 9th, 2019 at Wise Hall, . Rounding out the lineup are local powerpoppers Fashionism, deathrockers Dead Cells and hardcores Starvation. Tickets in advance here.