Boys Will Be Boys: “Love Life” EP Review

Written By: Ethan Griggs

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With their new Love Life EP, Latvian indie rockers Boys Will Be Boys have created something distinctly tied in to good ole fashioned rock and roll. Sounding like Europe’s answer to Foxygen (vocalist Oskars Tupurinš sounds uncannily like Sam France’s lower registers), these indie darlings also share similarities with the Ukrainian psych-rock band Fun Service, albeit the sounds on this debut EP belong more to the stoner rock genre that has propelled acts like Mac Demarco to prominence in the U.S.

It’s practically impossible to tell the band is European since Tupurinš sings in impeccable English, but some of the most effective and memorable songs on the EP contain no vocals at all, such as the Tame Impala reminiscent  “Intro” and the cliff hanger “Ham Sandwich”. That’s not to say that the song-craft on the release isn’t worthwhile; there’s plenty of great melodies to behold on the release, complemented by the versatile strumming of guitarists/bassists/keyboardists Matīss Kļaviņš and Jānis Liepiņš, the backing vocals of Dita Frídenberga, and the precise drumming Pēteris Ozols.

The group veers over into the realm of classic pop on the Doors-tinged “Follow Me”. The following “Times”‘ brings it down a notch to a folk-rock ballad that reminds the listener of of the best work of America (the band), but this track sounds like it could be more aptly titled as “Europe”, in comparison. “And times may change/But I’ll love you the same/I’ll never forget the first kiss you shared/On the roof of the car” reflects a longing Tupurīns, backed up by Frīdenberga. The galloping and fluid “On the Road” sounds like It could be a classic Bread outtake or even something that could’ve been on one of the Beatles’ solo records. The rollicking “Dead Lovers” leans more towards The Rolling Stones and modern rockers like Natural Child – there’s even a bit of grunge influence on the track.

There’s plenty of the old and plenty of the new on this EP, both in terms of sonics and song structures. Sounding like Jim Morrison at one moment and like Duncan Shiek at the next, Tupurīns makes good use of his gorgeous voice. Paired with the luminescent pop rock of the rest of the band, the sound on Love Life is as familiar as it is foreign. With love as it’s central theme (“Momocore”), the lyrics on the EP are perfectly accessible for anyone who has ever felt the slightest inkling of a feeling for someone. The mix is a creamy blend of guitars and synths that will keep the listener dreaming long after the music stops.