Boys With Xray Eyes

Oh My! How We Terrify EP

Written by: AP on 27/09/2010 15:34:40

Other than sporting a rather ludicrous name, Boys With Xray Eyes are quite an interesting proposition. The band is a reaction against the mediocre, middle-of-the-road pop rock slewing out of the United Kingdom in inconsummate amounts, and the appropriate reaction is, it has been felt, to create chaotic post-hardcore tongue-in-cheek and earn considerable critical praise in the process. I myself picked up this EP, "Oh My! How We Terrify", when the band visited Southampton earlier this year in support of Burn The Fleet, and I have been meaning to jot down some thoughts on it for a while now.

In order to place Boys With Xray Eyes in the right context, imagine a concoction of sorts from the acerbic riffery of Acid Tiger; the brooding discordance of early Norma Jean; and the broiling Southern groove of Dead And Divine. What this cocktail of influences results in is festering intensity that finds brief outlets in drummer Phil Edward's melodic, Blitz Kids-esque backing vocals. As such, unlike some of their contemporaries, Boys With Xray Eyes are able to craft songs that cater to both the carefree moshwarrior and the more aesthetically concerned scrutinist, providing enough dynamicity and variation to tick most required fields for a successful, modern post-hardcore act. It is refreshing to hear that complex guitar work has not been compromised in favor of accessibility on songs like "Hotrod", "Electro the Human Lightning Bolt" and "Sickest Bar in Town", but also that the band never indulges too deeply in its chaotic tendencies so as to provide wonderfully easygoing and catchy moments such as those found in "The Great Thunder" and "The Weatherman".

This may not be big-league material, but thanks to its brevity and relative inventiveness, "Oh My! How We Terrify" manages to capture me from start to finish. There are no drastic innovations to be unveiled here, but for any fan of groovy post-hardcore this is absolutely a recommended purchase. The subtle hints of The Chariot - most notable in the semi-progressive, album closing title track - can certainly do no harm either, for those of a sheer chaos-embracing disposition.


Download: Hotrod, The Great Thunder, The Weatherman
For the fans of: The Casino Brawl, The Chariot, Dead And Divine, Norma Jean

Release date 22.03.2010

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