My So-Called Life Original Television Soundtrack
It’s fair to say the ’90s have made a big and aggressive comeback, with alt-rock and shoegaze’s finest returning from hibernation and their modern counterparts trying to keep up. Brooklynite guitarists Saara Untracht-Oakner and Glenn Van Dyke wanted their piece of the pie and started BOYTOY, a loud, fuzzy burst of plaid and teen angst. Their self-titled EP, released through PaperCup Music, is reminiscent of the kind of acts that made Creation Records and 4AD a household name… at least if you lived in a punk house.
“Helluva Party” kicks off with a snare blast much like at the beginning of My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless. Untracht-Oakner’s voice is a cross between a younger Jenny Lewis and The Muff’s Kim Shattuck as it cuts through the heavily-distorted guitars. Already, BOYTOY is basically the most 1993 music you’ve heard in a while, and there’s no turning back.
“Future Ghost” starts off like seminal “girl alt” group Lush’s later work. The vocal harmonies and heavy drumming instantly makes you want to rent Clerks and play Sega Genesis all weekend. Sure, you probably can’t get any Crystal Pepsi, but it’s the thought that counts. Maybe there’s a Bobby’s World marathon on TV later.
Tracks like “Runner” and “Blazed” really show off how skilled this trio is. It’s one thing to play loud, drug-tinged pop, but having the instrumental prowess to do so effortlessly is really a feat. Sure, one can pick up a guitar and grind out a couple power chords and say they’re “influenced by Nirvana,” but with BOYTOY, there seems to be a meaning behind the volume and angst. Sure, these kids probably never hung out with Rivers Cuomo or Mark Arm, but they seem to “get it,” as if there’s something to “get” about that moment in time.
BOYTOY hits fans of ’90s rock in all the right places, but definitely not in a safe way. Like The Jesus and Mary Chain’s Psychocandy, this is where pop meets that moment where you’re completely destroyed by how deliciously loud it’s getting.