Boys Life, the City on Film | Bottom Lounge | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Boys Life, the City on Film 17+ Early Warnings (Music) Recommended Soundboard

When: Sat., Oct. 17, 9 p.m. 2015
Price: $18
At first glance, Boys Life seem to perfectly fit the template of mid-90s midwestern emo. These corn-fed dudes grew up in Kansas City, Missouri, and during their brief career—the band formed in 1993 and broke up in ’97—they released sullen, chaotic, and ungainly melodic posthardcore on a handful of small-but­-revered independent labels (including the pre­eminent Crank!). Their name even evokes the lamentable racial and gender homogeneity so often associated with that scene. But while Boys Life wouldn’t stick out on a bill with pretty much any of the great mass of like-minded bands that came out of the midwest during those years, they got more creative with their music than most of their peers. Topshelf recently reissued the group’s swan song, 1996’s Departures and Landfalls, which at various points incorporates cascading guitars a la Drive Like Jehu, a solitary mournful cello, what sounds like a car radio searching for a signal, and a field recording of crickets. Boys Life’s precise, assiduous performances and confident grasp of atmosphere make every barely in-key yelp sound not only urgent but important. The band reunited earlier this year, and this is the second date of their first tour since then.
— Leor Galil

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