Hailing from New York City’s musical underground, BOYTOY float somewhere between 1960s psychotic surf jams and early 1990s grunge rock. Glenn Van Dyke and Saara Untracht-Oakner founded the band in 2013 with two guitars, drums, and uber-infectious melodies. They set the tone and continue to craft catchy, fuzzy, rock nuggets that create dreamy summer vibes all year round and they have been packing rooms around New York City and L.A. on a regular basis.
BOYTOY just finished their first European as well as a Puerto Rican tour with their current lineup including Chase Noelle on drums (formerly of Thelma and The Sleeze) and Lena Simon on bass (La Luz).
With a 7” and single split 7” coming out in January, the four band members continue their migratory tradition to Los Angeles this winter including a Southern, West Coast and Northern tour of the U.S. BOYTOY plans to record their sophomore full-length in L.A. in March 2017.
As with most Little Dickman artists, BOYTOY is at the top of their game artistically. Chris Yaniak recently sent me the new single and B-side to review as well as the band’s info, and I wanted to take a listen and share what I found.
Side A is “Want.” The first thing that hits me is the band’s incredible assimilation of genuine ’60s melody and feel. But the fact that they do it in a modern way makes this even better. Their soul and sound bring forth visions of The Monkees and Procol Harem all wrapped up in late 1990s flair of The Breeders. Guitars, bass, and drums all occupy space without fighting for a dominating position and sound perfect with the blended vocals. Vocals are hypnotic and rhythmically addictive as Saara and Glenn harmonize throughout the tune. I also love the winding bass work and wide-open drum work as electric guitars sparkle with tremolo and grit. The instrumentation adds much to the piece, and each player adds hook potential to the song. Saara is the lead vocalist, and she brings a great mix of unbridled originality and passion to the piece as well. BOYTOY also follow their specific beat, staying out of the typical spectrum of modern pop and adding some ¾ syncopation to the addictive chorus. Guitars coil and circle the melody, making this an entirely fascinating song for this stellar band.
Side B is “Burning in Orange.” Once again the band stretches out in their distinct way, laying down hypnotic riffs over spacious drums and vocals. “Burning in Orange” actually reminds me of old school Jane’s Addiction. Guitars churn out tube-fueled blitzes of distorted fury as Saara lays down the lyrical law. Lead guitar in the back half of the song is guttural and done in the snarling vein of Kurt Cobain or early Nirvana six-string slinger Jason Everman. Other highlights are the rhythmic intro chords that set the tone for the verse that work quite well.
After hearing these two tracks, I can’t wait for the next full batch due out early 2017. You can catch them on the first night of their tour at Baby’s All Right in Brooklyn, NY on Jan. 9. Special guests include Gods, Roya and Winstons. After that, they’re out on the road to Los Angeles. To find out more about BOYTOY and to pre-purchase Putty, head over to https://littledickmanrecords.bandcamp.com/album/putty.
Joe Harvard’s Beauty Thru Radiation Exhibit At Art629 – Asbury Park
Joe Harvard is someone that I would consider a good friend and a talented artist in the Jersey scene and beyond. He recently kicked off his Beauty Thru Radiation exhibit at Pat Schiavino’s Art629 Gallery on Cookman Avenue in downtown Asbury Park. On Saturday evening, Dec. 17, 2016, Asbury Underground kicked off a conglomerate of art featuring the work of black light artist, musician, and author, Joe Harvard, with additional submissions from his counterpart Mark Davis. Mr. Harvard was said to be in attendance, and talked at length about his recent work on display, and also about his work as the founder and creator of “The gARTen @ 713 Cookman”, where Joe has been creating an interactive art and music experience as part of the Asbury Underground on a vacant lot for the past several summers.
The exhibit titled Beauty Thru Radiation will be a showcase of the artist’s most recent work, which he refers to as “found object ‘trash art’ and black lit Day-Glo work.” The exhibit is currently on display and will run in conjunction with Asbury Underground’s Light of Day Downtown Art and Music Crawl through the weekend of Jan. 16, 2017. Gallery hours vary, and it is suggested to call ahead for hours of operation (732-859-1458).
This exhibit will be the first gallery showing by Harvard, who has lived and worked in Asbury Park for many years both as an artist and musician. The gallery is showing Mr. Harvard’s work in conjunction with the Asbury Underground/Light of Day event, which takes place on Jan. 14. Asbury Underground is a citywide showcase for art and music which takes place two times per year in Asbury Park. The last Asbury Underground event, which was held in October, drew an estimated 10,000 people to the downtown, for two days of art and music. For more information on Joe Harvard’s Beauty Thru Radiation and other exciting art offers, head over to http://www.art629.com/.