Boyfrndz

Impulse (Brutal Panda)

Texas Platters

Boyfrndz

Impulse (Brutal Panda)

Building on the foundation set by prior LP Breeder, Boyfrndz's third album verges on the post-Radiohead border of modern prog rock. "Ghosted" and "Hiatus" top a series of Impulse anthems that stretch soaring melodies tightly across widescreen canvases. Guitars sweep, rhythms dance around standard 4/4, and Scott Martin's high wail floats over the tracks like a hawk above a storm cloud. The ambitious "Eyes Up" packs an epic's worth of changes into three-and-a-quarter minutes, verdant textures engulfing the Austin power quartet in a haze that discourages tech skill in favor of iridescent sound. The desperate "Going Under" uses its assault to dispel clouds instead of raze the ground, everything shaken down to a shimmer. Martin's words stay ambiguous, glimpses of emotional outbursts in a psychedelic fog. The band avoids floating off into the cosmos, a steady rudder ensuring that no matter how much the songs tremble, control never gets lost. Impulse consolidates rather than innovates, but it showcases Boyfrndz butting against the edges of its talent. (CD release: Fri., May 27, Sidewinder)

***.5

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