Review – “Gladly” – No Boys

reviewed by Laura Stanley

Guelph band No Boys is a club that everybody is invited to join despite what their name says. This “Basketball Squad” / “Rock and Roll Band” and group of “Post Modern Lovers”, so says their Bandcamp page, would likely have a sign posted out front their club house that says “no boys allowed” but they would bend those rules so that any decent human can be a part of their fun.

Gladly, the band’s debut EP, is a fun release with a lot of feelings. Their pop-rock grooves along breezily with a bright string of guitar notes woven throughout like a glittery thread used to fasten No Boys’ insignia to your backpack. But even all this breeziness can’t mask the un-breeziness of the songs’ anxieties.

Opener “Orwell Orso” – a clever play on the track’s repeated phrase, “or well, or so, I thought” – contemplates happiness and how comforting it can be wallowing in your own misery. “Losing Face” is a vignette (clocking in at under two minutes) about sussing out a liar – “which words were lies and which ones were true. Well, it’s all the same figuring you.” It’s an exhausting process trying to figure someone out which may explain the track’s brevity.

“Strung Out” is a the highlight of this four song EP. Here No Boys is at their tightest and the backing vocals are at their most dulcet as they grapple with not liking somebody as much as they used to – “I hope you don’t notice that I don’t care, I never did.” It’s a song of freedom and one that stings just a little bit.

Closer “Secondgary” feels like walking into a bar that has carpet and an all you can eat buffet for some reason. Complete with a hilarious faux-DJ’s commentary bookending the track, “Secondgary” is the most openly distraught sounding of the bunch. Which is fitting because this song is about loneliness. Some comfort though is that you can always attend another No Boys meeting (throw the EP on again) if you are feeling lonely.

Top Track: “Strung Out”

Rating: Young Hoot (Decent)

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