steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion


"School of Etiquette" CD

Alive Records

Genres: indie rock, punk-pop, rock

Alive Records
PO Box 7112
Burbank CA 91510

May 10 - 16 2004

I suppose Boyskout's School of Etiquette is far from groundbreaking, but it's just so incredibly enjoyable that its deficit in originality doesn't seem to matter.  Over the duration of twelve short tunes, the band rips through a whole plethora of pop hooks and exciting, energetic rhythms - by the end, you're entirely satisfied [and reaching for the play button again.]  Boyskout could be one of the best all-girl bands to come around in a long while, and School of Etiquette is pure proof.

The allure of this disc is its accessibility - these tunes can be enjoyed by anyone; not only is Boyskout's rock attitude very infectious, but their melodic sense is amazing.  Though this disc does have its less enjoyable moments (the ineffectual "Imaginary," the boring "Sunday Morning"), there is more than enough here to make up for it.  "Secrets" could be School of Etiquette's best moment - its joyful, pop-based chorus is made exhilarating by way of some truly excellent energy on the part of the band.  The tune just basks in its own excitement.  "Vitamin C" is a bit different; it's got a lot of tension in its explosive, dark structure - the melodies aren't as obvious, though it's still an incredibly listenable tune.

As the album progresses, the band loses a bit of its energy, though the melodies are still abundant.  "Circus Song" and "Eye Make Up" have plodding, gradual rhythms, and are more removed from Boyskout's punk-influenced material.  However, their dark depravity is made accessible by way of some serious pop hooks - melody never fails.

School of Etiquette is a very enjoyable rock record with quite a few real gems.  Though "Secrets" is worth the price of admission alone, look at how much else you get!  Don't miss out.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 12 tracks, distributed by Bomp, released 2004]