REVIEW: Boner City – “Kentucky”


Boner City
Kentucky
Self-Released

I don’t write a lot of record reviews anymore because I’m not that good at it. When I regularly published a fanzine back in the Age of Great Migrations I didn’t really know what to say except stuff like “This is so great! Yay, Circle Jerks!” or some such drivel, but I really could not help it; I liked most of what I heard back then, so what else could I say without sounding like a pretentious twit?

That being said, today I downloaded the first album from Boner City from their Bandcamp page, and while I had heard one track from it a month earlier (the brilliant Die Young) I was simply not prepared for the overwhelming charm, energy and wit of a complete album. Not only is it a vibrating piece of pure rock and roll fire, the band shows that they have a good grasp on not just classic early punk rock, but they have also absorbed the hooks and feel of 50’s rock, 60’s pop, reggae, surf and hardcore, and these elements have created a fresh sound that is at once instantly familiar and yet somehow busting out all over the place. I don’t really know how to describe the feel of their music– Smurfs on LSD with knives? An adorable blend reminiscent of early Meat Puppets, The Urinals and The Shangri-Las?

The double-synched vocalizing gives a youthful exuberance to the manic and relentless supernova energy of the music, and their lyrics run the gambit from outright cute to an odd type of dark menace, but shining through it all is the promise of expectation I have not heard since the best years of The Replacements; sweetly romantic and yet somehow defiant on all types of levels. Like all good punk rock kids, they are going full blast without a bit of guilt, and it’s because they know there is time to burn in spades. This is not the tight-assed-can’t- wait-to-be-40 emo generation speaking here, people– this is an absolute glorification of Rock and Roll. Going balls-out is where this batch of kids is at, and they are also not burdened with the desire to come across as obtuse and somehow more sophisticated than you are. They can play cow-punk licks one second and do 50’s crooning the next, and somehow fly both middle fingers while doing it.

This record really reflects the attitude of Louisville’s newest batch of punk-rock reprobates, and it’s the familiar sound of Youth Gone Wild, but with a knowledge and maturity that my bunch certainly did not have. They are informed, clever, brave and ready to kick out the jams at a moment’s notice. To say that I am impressed would be putting it mildly. This is the band that I would have followed to hell and back when I was a teenage asshole, and Boner City’s growing following proves that they don’t just play punk rock– they have studied it, absorbed it and they spit it back out at the speed of sound itself. No posing here.

Smurfs on caffeine and LSD, armed with the weapons of their trade- high energy rock and roll? Pretty much.

Guest post by the incomparable Sean Garrison. He sings for I Have A Knife and has been in a slew of bands from Louisville. You know which ones. 

Listen to “Kentucky” below.