Released August 15, 2014
Recorded and Produced by Manuel Nieto
Mastered by Alex Saltz at APS Mastering, NYC
Keys/Vocals: Little Punk
Keys/Vocals/Guitar: Jordan Small
Bass/Electronics: Morgan Short
Drums: Devin Gallery
Does it not seem that every band breaks up? There may be a spark of brilliance, but it fumbles and creates a small, wafting line of smoke like a burned-out circuit before it has a chance to mix with the air. Entropy. The dying of the choking light. Boys Climbing Ropes came and went; guitar-driven (mostly acoustic) initially, an anger vessel that conjures Sonic Youth but with Eastern aromas and pounding keyboards. Boys Climbing Ropes has the potential to be hard and vicious, yet the thoughtful material removes the idea of “punk” from the equation. It reminds me of all my old pop-punk friends who made sure to get their business degrees before they plugged into the amps on stage. The life was too frightening for any of them to bear. Lead singer Pei Pei sings with wisdom beyond her years, embraces anarchy in “safe” times summoning Martha Davis and Chrissie Hynde. In “safer,” louder songs, she wails like Niall Quinn. This may be the very definition of “world music.” You’re not thinking Chinese post-punk, but an international affliction of rage dominated by Devon Galley’s Bonham drums, a rich acoustic blend by Jordan Small, and Morgan Short’s punctuated bass and synthesizer all battling Pei Pei, the “Little Punk” in the sustained rhythm war. There is serious power on display (“Socially Awkward” and “Two Dogs” are stand-outs), but all for naught, because all bands break up, all bands die. Rather than dwell in morbidity, or fade under obscurity, the band will drown and forget the anger in favor of wealth and influence. Boys Climbing Ropes ignored wealth and influence, and they didn’t suffer fools (a handicap in the entertainment industry). Here’s hoping anger will rise again.