Pink Street Boys – “Smells Like Boys” (2017)

First things first. If you are indeed planning on smelling the Pink Street Boys, I recommend you do it before their set. Because they go 100-miles-per-hour on stage and there’s a lot of sweating involved. I don’t think you want to smell them after the fact.

The self-proclaimed “Loudest Band in the World” just put their latest release into the wild, entitled Smells Like Boys. Given the Boys’ style of high-intensity dirty garage rock, as well as their sense of irony, this title conjures up lots of associations in my mind from the obvious ones like Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and Thin Lizzy’s “The Boys are Back in Town” to more comical ones like the seminal metal album Smell the Glove and Deniece Williams’ “Let’s Here it for the Boy”. After all, the Boys will be boys. But one thing is for certain – I saw people with copies of this thing all over Reykjavik last week, including a lady who boarded the flight back to Seattle wearing a PSB t-shirt and carrying her copy of Smells Like Boys out in front of her like a “Beware of Dog” sign, a warning to those around her that she was not to be fucked with.

Smells Like Boys is raw old school rock ‘n’ roll, all sweaty and filthy and lo-fi. Elements of rockabilly and surf and psych weave in and out like parts of a broken kaleidoscope, one that doesn’t give you the patterns you expect but instead makes you wonder if someone put some acid in your drink. Most songs feature profanity of some type, with copious references to cops, drugs, and fighting strewn about for good measure. It’s like the music of The Stooges taken to it’s natural and obvious conclusion, the musical omega point, reaching the bottom of the bottomless pit with “Alpha Dog”, a song with lyrics I’m not even going to bother sharing with you for fear that the FCC may come knock-knock-knockin’ on my door. And please, don’t take that as a criticism, because it’s not. PSB puts it all on the table. Nothing hidden, no added preservatives. Songs like “Way It Goes” and “Mr. Kill” are near-perfect garage rockers, with catchy and grungy riffs and vocals that imply the singer may have swallowed the microphone, sounding like three-day-old spilled beer smells. Smell the boys indeed.

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