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Boys make it pop on Kamikaze

Sometimes I go on week-long spells of listening to acoustic music and start to think it's the only way songs can be made. Give it up to Missoula's Boys for reawakening me to the joys of distortion, echo and reverb in less than 20 minutes. Strike that—the effect was pretty immediate. With diverse structures akin to TV on the Radio, but with a tone closer to bluesy lo-fi, Kamikaze definitely blew my expectations out of the water.

"Bernard Mickey Wrangle" especially tickles my fancy. It sounds like the soundtrack to one of my favorite European snowboarding videos but with a better mastery of English. "Pocketknife" has similar pop rock qualities, though the vocals need to get on key. Anyone can do the Modest Mouse thing (please don't), but singer Kale Huseby can do better. For the most part he does, though familiar catchy formulas creep in from time to time. The succinct, solo guitar work will easily keep you hooked to the end of album.

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I haven't heard a rock record like this come out of Missoula since Wartime Blues' 2011 magical farewell album. Not that I had low expectations for Boys in particular, but it's easy to treat any young band with some skepticism. It's nice when that pessimism is quickly stamped out.

Boys plays an album release show at the VFW Thu., May 30, at 10 PM, with King Elephant and Judgment Hammer. $4.

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