boondockArtist: Boondock Brothers
Album: Excuses
Release Date: June 13, 2016
Label: Rareified Studios

Excuses are indeed the thematic threads that tie together the debut EP Excuses by Boondock Brothers.

In Excuses, they explore the notions of self-sabotage and the denial that comes with it, opening the EP with the ironically self-aggrandizing “Let’s Be Friends.” The track shows the patronizing nature of insincere friendship and heartbreak in a groovy,  cathartic, and wholly danceable the song, climaxing with vocalist Michael Schenk screaming, “Let’s be friends, goodbye.”

In spite of  jaded undertones throughout the record, there’s an enduring quality of self-discovery that permeates through the songs. The lyricism explores a conceptual duality of both personal epiphany and egotism, and the conflict these traits create are compelling qualities of Excuses. The comparatively recent addition of keys player Dylan Taylor has altered the sound of the Boondock Brothers, solidifying their approach to the iconic sounds of the 1960s and 1970s that seem to inform their sound. Boondock Brothers, however, are careful not to cross the line into sonic nostalgia, choosing instead to forge their own blend of melody, lyricism, and vintage production styles.

The final song of Excuses “Cleanse My Mind” is the EP’s standout track. They illustrate an intense devotion to playing what’s best for the song instead of indulging the desire to jam it out, opting for the subdued approach to ballad form. It’s in the first three songs of the EP where their extended jams lift the listener from the melancholy of Michael’s lyricism. which is sustained largely by the sheer power and instrumental prowess of the band, especially bassist Ricardo Robledo. It’s in “Cleanse My Mind” where they get to the point, elevating the sobering realization that maybe the problem isn’t always someone else.

Excuses is characterized by poignant lyricism and compelling instrumental narratives. Boondock Brothers offer a strong debut in what is hopefully the first of more to come.

Excuses is the debut EP by Boondock Brothers, available on Spotify, Bandcamp, and Soundcloud.

By: Brian Strauss (FoxxPress)