Posts Tagged ‘emotional response’

Boyracer at Big Takeover

After four years of silence, Boyracer reemerge for their final release – four snappy songs defiantly lacking the drama that would ordinarily accompany such an announcement.

Teetering between The Buzzcocks andLeatherface, Stewart Anderson and company go out on a high note, beginning with the flashing memory of a bad relationship in the title track, a theme continued in “2nd Wave Mod,” which takes The Jam even further into early Who territory. “The Kind of Man You Really Are” pushes further into Jam-esque mod-isms, while theJen Turrell-penned “Jump” offers a playful bit of indie sweetness, thus ending the Boyracer legacy on an entirely non-bitter note.

Whether this truly is the end of an indie punk era or an insatiable itch will eventually produce another EP is anyone’s guess. Needless to say, then, if this is the end, Boyracer will sorely be missed, though they couldn’t have ended any better.


Hulaboy at Big Takeover

With twenty years of collaborating under their belts, Boyracer’s Stewart Andersonand Eric Stoess of Louisville, KY legends,Hula Hoop, get together again for another small slab of vinyl.

He’s Making Violent Love to Me, Mother is the ’60s aficionado’s wet dream. “Exes and Enemies” kicks things off with a contemplative, Kinks-y look at social media and the way it drags us into the past, while “Napalm Heart delivers some punchy mod power pop fit for the Jamcontingent. “Kids Under Stars,” on the other hand, explodes with the fury of The MC5coupled with The Open Mind’s penchant for Hendrix worship. It’s as solid a release as any, and one that’s sure to grace the turntable over and over again, whether anybody wants to hear it or not.

Sometimes, band members step out of their comfort zones into halls of shame, but, when the chemistry is right, such meanderings can be magic. Hulaboy is one such charmed digression that deserves to be recognized as more than a side-project. May future endeavors be as mind-expanding.


Emotional Response at Big Takeover

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The Safe Distance at Big Takeover

Adding to his super-extensive discography, Boyracer’s Stewart Anderson joins Sarandon’s Crayola andDavid Nichols from Cannanes and Huonfor an indie pop extravaganza spanning three continents (North American, Europe and Australia, respectively) and heavily rooted in the psychedelic garage rock of the second Nuggets box set.

Opening with the fuzzy, snaking guitar line of “Hey You,” a bona fide hip shaker complete with screeching Velvet Underground-style guitar solos, Songs fully delivers with four smart, memorable pop songs straight from the paisley underground. “Soap” offers some heady folk punk, where “A Bigger Splash” lays back for some lackadaisical summer fare complimented by a shuffling beat, hopping organ and distorted wah-wah guitar fills. “Sandpit” closes with an angry bit of sneering garage punk that perfectly encapsulates a young man’s frustration in the span of two minutes.

Maybe it’s a one-off, maybe it’s the beginning of a series of fruitful collaborations. Either way, Songs stands out as a high point in the collective discographies of those involved, making us all hope that there will be more of The Safe Distance in the future.


The Safe Distance at Vinyl District

Run by husband and wife team of Stewart Anderson and Jen Turrell, The Flagstaff, AZ-based label Emotional Response flies the flag of punkish indie pop and specializes in the tried-and-true format of the 7-inch EP, with much of the focus on the projects of the operators including Hulaboy and Boyracer. Of particular interest is “Songs” by The Safe Distance, a group featuring Anderson in tandem with Crayola of the UK band Sarandon and David Nichols of Australia’s Cannanes.

Whether it spins at 45 or 33 1/3 RPM, comes enclosed in a designed sleeve or one made of plain paper, or has a large or small hole drilled in its center, there’s nothing quite like the charge inspired by a worthwhile 7-inch. ‘twas once the dominant vessel for chart hits, countless misses and a surfeit of regional obscurities, but even after the advent of the compact disc, subscriber-based singles clubs flourished, as did a few labels specifically devoted to the short form.

The trend continues with Emotional Response, a 7-inch enterprise (though a flexi-disc does lurk in its background) co-managed by a guy who as the sole constant member of Boyracer played no small role in the ‘90s singles boom, his band releasing platters through the auspices of such esteemed imprints as Slumberland and Sarah plus his own Red Square and 555 Recordings.

While certainly connected to Anderson’s prior achievements, Emotional Response doth waft a distinct aroma, combining varying degrees of punk weightiness and humor with indie pop invention and a smart approach to the combination of physical product and technological advancement; over half the discography contains supplementary downloadable material.

Along with Turrell, Anderson’s partner in life and labeldom on bass, Boyracer’s most recent lineup flaunts the return of Sarah-period guitarist Matt Green. Thusly, Boyracer’s participation in Emotional Response’s roster isn’t a bit surprising, and for that matter, neither is the appearance of Hulaboy, Anderson’s long-running collab with Eric Stoess of Hula Hoop.

“He’s Making Violent Love to Me, Mother” is Hulaboy’s 3-song 7-inch/10-song download, its title culled from the dialogue of a film inextricably linked to the Christmas season (no, I shan’t spoil it), a gesture indicating recurring referentiality; opener “Exes and Enemies” names Facebook, “The Kid Asked” cites the records of The Jesus and Mary Chain and movies by Lars Von Trier, Michael Haneke and Mike Nichols, the raucous “Kids Under Stars” speaks of hearing Phil Ochs on the radio, and a pair of track titles allude to Mark E. Smith and Crispin Glover.

“Hey!” even opens with the titular sample-clip from said seasonal flick. Differing from this tendency however is Hulaboy’s briefest and best tune, “Napalm Heart.” “…ripping off the Postcard and Flying Nun back catalogue”: that’s a self-deprecating snippet from Emotional Response’s promo text, and while not necessarily off-target, “Napalm Heart” hits upon a catchy and sharp vibe reminiscent of a release by Stiff or maybe even Small Wonder. Altogether, ER 09 is a satisfying half hour.

ER 10 is Boyracer’s “Pete Shelley,” the 4-song 7-inch/6-song download pointing to a carryover of Hulaboy’s inclination for name-checking. But the comparison doesn’t really extend beyond the title-track, as surfacing instead is Anderson’s knack for lean and loud melodiousness; a highly fertile musician credited with 800 tunes (a quick glance at Discogs bears this out), the results here connect as the byproduct of an aggressive and un-fussed-over spontaneity.

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Boyracer at Magnet

Boyracer has put out an impressive 800 songs since its birth in 1991, and the indie/garage group is back for one last hurrah. Now, the band has released “Pete Shelley,” a track from its new four-song EP. The EP was recorded after a four-year hiatus and is slated to be the band’s last release. “Pete Shelley” is short and sweet but packs a hard punch. It’s loud, obnoxious, sad, elated, melodic and many other things all at once. Download it below.

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Emotional Response at Scared to Dance

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Emotional Response at Backseat Mafia

Still in the glow of the new year and the full flow of obligatory resolutions, its sort of gratifying that pretty much everything about The Safe Distance and their new (sort of) video “Sandpits” has more than a whiff of DIY about it, that old favourite of those new year promises that last not long into the new year.

Given that the band is made up of David Nichols of The Cannanes, Stewart Anderson of Boyracer and Crayola of Sarandon, all three of which are hardly known for their silky smooth production (and damn it, we wouldn’t want them to be). As such, its a riotous slab of indie pop, gloriously DIY in its approach as this trebbly bass thunders and these guitar strum almost percussively as the wiry melody lines cast jagged shadows over the top. It all winds up to the swirling finish thats enough to leave you breathless at the end.

We’re not even sure the video is a premiere, although we think its possible, but given its criminally low views we’ll certainly claim it anyway. It was made, in true DIY fashion, by Crayola’s 9 year old son George.

The music, taken from The Safe Distance’s 7inch EP, is out on Emotional Response and is available from


Hulaboy, Boyracer, and Safe Distance at Scared to Dance

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Emotional Response at When You Motor Away

Punk popping Boyracer has had a long career in the creases of the indie world.  Their work has been released by Slumberland, Sarah, Jigsaw, HHBTM and others, and the band has released over 800 songs sing 1991.  Apparently, that golden pension plan available to all indie rockers have vested, because the Pete Shelly EP is said to be their final release.  While I find that news sad, at least they are going out on a high note.  To be more exact, many high notes, many low notes, some percussion, some snarl, and all of it as loud as you like it.  None of us would have it any other way.

For the Pete Shelly EP, Chief Boyracer Stewart Anderson is joined by his spouse Jen Turrell and guitarist Matt Green.  The title track starts off proceedings with a song that is as close to an anthem as you likely will get with crash pop.  Replay it a few times – you deserve it.  “2nd Wave Mod” is a footstomper with sneering vocals, pounding drums and sawing guitars.  “The Kind of Man You Really Are” features a snaky groove.  Jen takes the lead vocals for the more indie pop, and very tasty, “Jump”.  Play it loud, and play it proud.  Farewells don’t have to be sad.

The record is released by Emotional Response Records, which is a label run by Stewart Anderson and Jen Turrell, who together previously ran the labels 555 Records and Red Square.  You can buy the vinyl or the digital download, and either one gets you two digital bonus tracks.  You can order via Bandcamp, but Stew and Jen advise ordering though their website at the bottom of the post, as it will be less expensive.