Rock songs have been riddled lately with such heavy millennial themes as existential angst and fear of the future. Isn’t it about time for a little S-E-X?
Girls Against Boys thinks it is. The New York band’s major-label debut blends pure, disco-era lust with hard-core punk and monster metal. It’s a record of rocking danger and kinky electricity.
Considering the decadent thrust of “Freak*on*ica,” it makes sense that it was produced by Nick Launay, a specialist in gothic dance-punk groups such as PiL and Killing Joke. Sometimes Launay heaps on the sleek glam feel too heavily, but he generally retains the edginess of the band’s earlier, independent recordings. Singer Scott McCloud still taunts and teases like a heavy-lidded Iggy Pop, and keyboardist Eli Janney delivers an appropriately dark, distorted sound.
As sexy as it all is, there’s an overwhelmingly apocalyptic vibe lurking around the disco ball, from the desperate club mantra of “Roxy” to the hyper-metal rush of “Speedway.” After all, this is a band that kicks off its big-time debut with a song that asks, “Can I burn with you?” You just might want to say yes.
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* Excerpts from these albums and other recent releases are available on The Times’ World Wide Web site. Point your browser to: https://www.latimes.com/sound clips