By A&E Editor Sawyer Pollitt
Discovering new music is one of the few joys that can be found in the COVID-19 hellscape we are all collectively experiencing. Fortunately for me, new music often appears in my inbox! And thanks to Boston based indie rock band “Alex & The People”, not only did new music show up, but good music did as well.
“Alex & The People” are a group of Massachusetts musicians who spent the last 7 years “mastering the art of bedroom recording” and are releasing their debut album ‘Boys Will Be Boys’ on April 25. Their style moves between garage rock, grimy blues, and singer-songwriter country. With influences like Neil Young, The Strokes, Joni Mitchell, The Rolling Stones, and Green Day, Alex & The People deliver on providing an energizing, fun, and heartfelt project.
Hearing from the band themselves, Alex & The People embraced a DIY aesthetic with their music. Most of the album was recorded in less than ideal conditions: a kitchen, a Cape-Cod rental house, and a music school’s back room between the sounds of nearby construction. Because of this, the sound quality isn’t exactly top-notch, but at the end of the day, through some good production the album doesn’t suffer from the setbacks of circumstance.
Going through their 10-track album, there were certainly highs and lows to my listening experience. With that in mind, the highs were quite high, and the lows never made me want to stop listening. Without going into excessive detail on every track, I found the latter half of the album to be personally more enjoyable than the first five tracks.
The instrumentation throughout ‘Boys Will Be Boys’ is pretty top notch. The versatility of the lead guitars on each track, especially instrumental breaks, lend a nice energy to the songs they appear on. I also enjoyed the occasional interjection of varied sounds and tones over the course of the album. The reverb-heavy marimba on Brought Our Stones and the bouncy piano on Hell’s Hotel added some nice texture to the project.
One thing that I really enjoy about this group is that all of their songs have a meaning, poignant lyrics, and more often than not, a nice little storyline – which I always appreciate. When listening to this album, you can tell that Alex Alvanos, the songwriter for the group, puts a lot of thought and time into his work. The band shared that he workshops his songs at open-mic nights around Boston and Massachusetts and that the album focuses on themes of “boyhood and the parts of you that die too early or live on too long”.
It is clear to me, after listening to their work, that this band has a ton of potential. The gems that stood out to me on ‘Boys Will Be Boys’ – Redcoats, Brought Our Stones, The Black Snake, and Waitin’ For My Train To Come – will most assuredly find their way into my musical rotation again.
I’m eschewing my normal rating system because I don’t feel right assigning a number value to a local, up and coming group. However, I will say that these guys are worth listening to and worth following to see what else they produce in the future. I know that I for one will be keeping an eye on Alex & The People, and I suggest that you do as well.
Alex & The People’s debut album ‘Boys Will Be Boys’ will be coming out on Soundcloud on April 25, 2020.