Rhode Island’s Downtown Boys will play The Workman’s Club in October
Downtown Boys use their ferocious energy and powerhouse live shows to unite crowds in the struggle to smash racism, queerphobia, capitalism, fascism, boredom, and all things people use to try to close our minds, eyes and hearts. The Providence, RI band have announced their third album, Cost of Living, to be released August 11 on Sub Pop. The new album – the follow-up to their critically-acclaimed sophomore album, 2015’s Full Communism – is at once incendiary, cathartic, and fun, melding the band’s revolutionary ideals with boundless energy. Produced by Fugazi’s Guy Picciotto, one of indie-rock’s most mythological figures (he also produced Blonde Redhead, The Gossip, and others), Cost of Living shows a sense of maturity without compromising the band’s righteous assault and captivating presence.
Cost of Living is Downtown Boys’ first record for storied indie label Sub Pop, and the band is using this new platform as a megaphone for their protest music, amplifying and centering Chicana, queer, and Latino voices in the far-too-whitewashed world of rock. Lyrically inspired by Assata Shakur’s poem “I believe in living,” album-opener “A Wall” rides the feel-good power that drove so many tunes by The Clash and Wire, calling out the idea that a wall could ever succeed in snuffing the humanity and spirit of those it’s designed to crush. “Promissory Note” is a bold self-introduction to the exclusive clubs that either ignore Downtown Boys’ existence, or worse, feign appreciation: “So what’s the matter, you don’t like what you see? / I can’t believe you’re even talking to me!” Ruiz shouts. “Tonta,” one of the three songs written and sung primarily in Spanish, is an introspective and emotional portrait of anguish which calls to mind the mighty scrum of Huasipungo at an ABC No Rio matinee.
The position of Downtown Boys has been clear since they started storming through basements and DIY spaces with their radically-minded, indefatigable rock music: they are here to topple the white-cis-het hegemony and draft a new history. This is how Downtown Boys began, and their resolve has only strengthened as both their sound and audience have grown. Like the socially conscious groups of years past, from Public Enemy to Rage Against the Machine, Downtown Boys harness powerful sloganeering, repetitive grooves, and earworm hooks to create one of the most necessary musical statements of today.
The Workman’s Club, Dublin
16th October 2017
Tickets priced €15 are on sale now through ticketmaster & the usual outlets.