(Brutal Panda, 4/1/14)
An initial reading of Boyfrndz’s name might make one worry about the pop-culture trend of Z-suffixed band names. However, the record sleeve of Breeder, with its roiling crowd of malformed, demonic babies should slake that worry. Pop the record in, and as the precisely calculated drum and guitar syncopation, backed by six-string bass, washes over you, any lingering fear should abate. This is a beast.
Hailing from Austin, Texas, the band is an experiment with competing edges. Boyfrndz has mastered variation, with track-to-track jumps perfectly executed. Some, like “Shape Shifter,” are slow dreams, with vocals echoing behind quiet, introspective guitar, occasionally punctuated by frenetic drumming. Elsewhere, “Each Others” rages, sung with a fervor that recalls Cedric Bixler-Zavala at his most strident. And standout “Burn Through It” is a moment of math-rock glory, a staircase-precise trophy piece.
Unfortunately, the band recently experienced a theft, with all of its equipment being stolen along with its van and trailer — making it all the more important to buy Breeder.