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Boy Wonders mixes whimsy and rock with debut album Comfortable Days Are Right here Once more

click on to enlarge Three men sit in the bucket of a piece of construction equipment.

Photograph: Courtesy of Boy Wonders

Boy Wonders

The debut album from Pittsburgh rock band Boy Wonders is titled Comfortable Days Are Right here Once more, however they’re slightly extra reluctant in individual. It’s comprehensible, provided that they largely created and recorded the songs via 2020 and 2021, throughout the COVID-19 lockdown.

“The title is type of ironic,” says Derek January, the band’s singer and guitarist.

“It’s a manifestation,” provides Joe Praksti, the band’s bassist. “Perhaps if we title the document comfortable days are right here once more, comfortable days will likely be right here.”

The boys of Boy Wonders are Derek January, Joe Praksti (additionally a member of Rave Ami), and Del Weinberg (who performs solo as Selection Phrases) on drums, who was added to the band after the album was recorded. What began as a solo mission for January in 2016 has fleshed right into a full-fledged band, and all three will carry out the brand new album at their cassette launch celebration at Cattivo on Sat., Nov. 19, with friends Pat Coyle and Solar Dawgs.

The album is now out there on Bandcamp and streaming providers.

The album sees January and Praksti squarely within the realm of their heroes: the rockabilly-inspired strumming of The Smith’s Johnny Marr, jangly harmonies of Brian Wilson, and layered pop tunes of Aztec Digital camera, whose 1983 track “The Boy Wonders” supplied the inspiration for his or her title. They’re not shy about their influences.

It’s becoming, then, that January and Praksti met throughout a The Smiths vs. The Remedy dance celebration at Belvedere’s Extremely-Dive.

“As an alternative of Robert and Steven, we determined we needs to be buddies, not enemies,” jokes Praksti.

The album was recorded by January and Praksti, with the latter sharing bass and drum duties on many of the songs. In lieu of a recording studio, the 2 labored in January’s attic, a protracted, slender nook that compelled Pratski to play the drums at an angle to keep away from the slanted ceilings. Full with borrowed mic stands and XLR cables from The Authorities Middle, a document retailer and music venue primarily based within the North Facet, the 2 tossed round concepts, usually turning them into songs the identical day.

“One thing I’ve by no means completed earlier than is we have been actually writing songs whereas we have been recording them,” Praksti says. “Whilst you’re laying it down, concepts begin coming to you.”

Typically Joe would come to a session with an instrumental, and Derek would flesh it out with lyrics and a fast melody. The observe “Dangle Tight (It’s Gonna Be a Lengthy Night time),” during which January drawls with an echoey impact, “Have a look at you standing there / Twirling your golden hair,” arose from that off-the-cuff collaboration.

“He’s a really unpretentious songwriter,” Praksti says of January. “He’s very straightforward to collaborate with. You may see the trail, you simply should stroll down it, possibly filter some shrubbery and leaves and also you’ll get to the vacation spot.”

January’s lyrics usually deal in wordy whimsy. On “New Bed room,” he pines, “Melancholy with the moony smile/Sunken eyes and enamel for miles.” Be careful, although, otherwise you’ll miss the sharp insult in “Drain-O,” which flames the ex-lover, pal, or roommate in your life who you possibly can’t stand anymore, with January singing, “Can be ex-janitor, clear up your self,” overtop a barrage of drums. The 2 described it as a non secular counterpart to the lovesick first observe, “Why Ought to I.”

“It’s like two sides of the identical coin,” January says. “One’s about falling in love with somebody and never understanding the way to categorical that and the opposite is about wanting to specific like, get the fuck out of my face, I can’t stand you anymore.”

The flashes of Smiley Smile-era Brian Wilson harmonies on songs like “Dangle Tight” are complimented by stretches of instrumental ambiance pieced all through the album. On the three-minute mark, the vitriol of “Drain-O” turns right into a Remedy-like guitar jaunt that fades right into a shimmering outro. The sound is fleshed out 5 tracks later in “Lavender,” during which an unfeigned guitar performs overtop a swirl of sighs and keys. Initially recorded as music for a pal’s film, the track offers a second of repose because the penultimate observe on the album.

On “Working Lady,” a rattling of drums and backing echoing vocals takes one again to a shared campfire tune. “She’s filling the cabinets alone / In all probability wishing it’s time to go/Begs the query, ‘Does she discover me?’” January wails. It could be a cry at midnight, however who higher to wax poetic with than a pal?

Now that they’ve Weinberg as a drummer, January and Praksti stay up for their dwell periods.

“It’s trending in a route the place now that we’re a band, I believe that it simply has extra muscle to it,” Praksti says. “We’re taking part in to one another’s strengths now, complimenting one another.”

They promise to maintain exploring their influences of their new music and to carve out a lane within the Pittsburgh music scene by digging right into a ’60s-style jangle pop paying homage to bands like The Byrds. They could even ditch the attic for a recording studio. One wonders, are the comfortable days lastly right here?

Boy Wonders with Pat Coyle and Solar Dawgs. 8 p.m. Sat., Nov. 19. Cattivo. 146 forty fourth St., Lawrenceville. $10.

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