Downtown Boys


“You’re worried I’ll treat you like you treat me.”

Hi Downtown Boys, welcome to my constant rotation. This album, Cost of Living, only came out in August, but I feel like I’ve been needing it for a long long time. It warrants a post of itself. So let’s talk about it…

I’m very new to Downtown Boys, I’d seen a few people posting about them, but honestly I think I first saw of this album via Sub Pop Records. Before anyone thinks anything untoward about Sub Pop being a big fat cat corporate company – shut up for a minute. Sub Pop are releasing great things (mostly) and I’m really happy for Downtown Boys taking the step towards being more distributed and getting more tours and for more people to hear their music, it’s really important. And this also means I get to see them TWICE in October!

Moving on! What am I hearing on this record? A whole lot of things that I wasn’t expecting to be honest. We have keys, we have sax slotted nicely in songs giving a groove and mellow backdrop to gang chants. This is political music made by people who know we need to hear it, I won’t list the topics that are sung about, but it’s shit that we all need to know about so please listen to the lyrics and get on board. Victoria Ruiz’ vocal delivery reminds me of the speak/shout style of Self Defence Family with the attitude of Bikini Kill and even musically reminiscent of SDF too. Although this is angry and reactive music, it has a delicacy to it, it’s not rammed with “sick riffs” and “tight drums”, it’s actually at some points verging on Pixies style sparseness with plenty space around the vocals for them to be heard.

What’s also great? UKs Drunken Sailor Records have just repressed Downtown Boys debut 7″ for their Euro tour next month. If you want it before you see them, it’s available at

In the mean time all their releases are on Bandcamp and I’m going to spend the rest of today familiarising myself with them, as should you!


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