With two members dating fashion designers and a look and sound that suggest their twin spiritual New York homes are notorious disco haven Studio 54 and punk mecca CBGBs, Boy Crisis have every base covered. And they preempt any criticism by telling you what your opinions are before you’ve expressed them. In London to promote their debut single, they can even see the accusations of riding on the coattails of MGMT – their friends, and former contemporaries at Wesleyan University in Connecticut – a mile off.
…So how do Boy Crisis differ from their psychedelic friends? “We’re poppier than MGMT, in that Warholian, media-slutty sense,” [Victor Vazquez ’06] says, “We’re more of a Chic/Prince/Talking Heads type thing.”
…Vasquez does this a lot – veers between teen-mag frivolity and degree-level scrutiny. “We’re Brian Eno and Timbaland’s love child,” he decides when asked for a capsule definition of their cerebral pop-funk. But when I bemoan the dearth of current “indie” bands fusing rock and R&B, he fires back: “That’s dangerous territory.”
I’m not sure what he means until a week later, when he sends me an email that is so long and painstakingly argued, it takes a further week to absorb his thoughts on the problem of white rockers assimilating black dance music. Phrases such as “cultural appropriation” and “reverence for concepts of aesthetic hierarchies” fairly trip off his keyboard.
The rest of the band, interviewed together in a north London pub, are flippant when probed about the music and meaning of Boy Crisis. But you get the impression that, alone, they’d be as unashamedly analytical as Vazquez…
The “Eight other Brooklyn bands worth checking out” list also includes Wes alums Amazing Baby and Das Racist.
The Guardian: “You can’t be too smart to make pop”