June 28, 2016

EP: Hardly Boys - Tit Punch

Punk and friendship aren't mutually exclusive for Seattle's Hardly Boys.

Sporting glitter-glue cheeks, brash graphic tees, and neon tights, Hardly Boys might be considered a revisit to the moody manifestos of riot grrrl if they weren’t so breezy and energetic. Hailing from the familiar cities and highways of the Pacific Northwest, Hardly Boys has taken the third-wave manifestation of riot grrrl and transformed it into something more self-aware and relaxed – a disposition that the current generation can easily gravitate towards. Their newest release, Tit Punch, oozes summertime malaise wrapped tight in a package made of crumpled candy wrappers.

Just as punk doesn’t (and shouldn’t) have to cater to a historically male-centric subculture, the members of Hardly Boys remind us that it doesn’t have to be all face tattoos, black skinny jeans, and mosh pit bruises either. The band prefers the genre of "friendship punk" and notes, "We’re all about fun! We write and play music that is a blast for us, and we try to instill that happy feeling in people listening to us and seeing us live. We like to address issues that frustrate us in society per the typical punk fashion, but while maintaining a sunny outlook." Hardly Boys’ break with the classic punk stereotype is especially clear on “Juno Rose,” which sketches the frustrations of loving a departed culture you can never fully be a part of, all while backed by chaotic chords and one particularly energized saxophone. “Hot Mullet,” while instrumentally the most traditionally punk, isn’t about to delve into laments about unsupportive girlfriends or sad bike rides home after a lonely show at the local dive bar. Instead, the band’s vocalist, Miranda, questions, “I’m not sure if I really like you a lot or if it’s just that hair that got me to start / Your hot mullet does it for me.” Along with its rare and sunny approach to the genre, Tit Punch reminds us that “punk” can be anything we want it to be – there’s no reason why its general desire to deviate from the norm can’t be applied to its own creations, too.

STREAM IT:

Listen to Hardly Boys on bandcamp


THIS STAFF POST WAS CONTRIBUTED BY: 
Lauren Ball, an investigative journalism student based in Chicago, IL. She's excited to help derail the patriarchy and overturn capitalistic power structures, but is trying not to get too dramatic here. Check out her work in American Songwriter Magazine, Highlight Magazine, Esoteric Zine, and her poetry in Sobotka Literary Magazine.