Croy & the Boys Album Review

Howdy High-Rise (Spaceflight)

Croy & the Boys Album Review

Eight of the 12 songs on Croy & the Boys' sophomore platter plainly rail against Austin's bougie urbanity, exploitative property development, and widespread affordability issues. It's a righteous collection of topical tunes that could easily be assailed as overly preachy if it weren't accurate and cleverly penned. "I'm Broke" characterizes the stylistic vein of Howdy High-Rise: proletariat Roger Miller honky-tonk. On choice cut "It Seems Like You Can't Just Be Poor Anymore," frontman Corey Baum's buttery voice laments a world with no room for the working class. He interrogates a condo building via the titular waltz, ultimately accusing it of driving his friends out of town. If you don't like moralizing, rush to skip "Gentrification," in which the onetime Dumb member spells out terms like "cultural elitism" and "hegemony," before comparing new Austin to "A Wes Anderson film ... with about as much cultural depth." In articulating the frustration of being a woke mid-30s white guy watching rich folks drain a unique city's culture, Baum effectively taps the zeitgeist of Austin 2019.

***.5

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