Today's post comes to us courtesy of both Vic G. AND John R. who each provided MRML with a fine rip and scan of this disputed classic.
Circa the mid 80's, and following the success of Billy Idol, quite a few seventies punks tried to tart-up their sound in a late-ditch effort to get on the radio. In Canada we had Teenage Head change their name and slick-up their sound, we had DOA team up with mainstream Rock producer Brian "Too Loud" McLeod, not too mention former Young Canadian Art Bergmann adding a radio-friendly keyboardist to his band Poisoned. As a bit of a punk purist, it's clear why I should loathe such crass commercialism but instead I'd argue - and have done so ad nauseum - that these releases are all (well, maybe not the Teenage Heads EP) worthwhile efforts.
Let's add to that list of arguably-worthy wanna-be-also-rans, the Forgotten Rebels' (more HERE) Boys Will Be Boys 12 " EP. When Hamilton's finest released this terribly-packaged (nerdy axe-man Mike Mirabella really suffers visually here) four song EP knee-deep in 1985, they were clearly trying to sneak in alongside the rush of pop-glam-metal bands like Twisted Sister then finding chart action. While their punk rock obstreperousness has been tamed, their infatuation with the kind of seventies glam-rock they so clearly adored circa the album, This Ain't Hollywood gets played to the hilt. The Rebels real concessions here are the bigger drum sound, the flashier guitar work and a willingness to get to the chorus that borders on the obsessive-compulsive:
At the time, I spun both power-poppers "Boys Will Be Boys" and "Can't Wait", a lot, the more hard-rockish "High School Nervous Breakdown" only a little bit and the breathy ballad, "Reason to Dance" hardly at all. It's difficult to guess exactly how this would sound to someone hearing it for the first time now. Maybe they'd think it sounds like a drag race between Cheap Trick and The New York Dolls where the finish line is a whorehouse. Why don't you let us know what you think, we're braced for a variety of reactions.
MRML readers, is this nadir of the Forgotten Rebels career or a charming sideways move? Let us know where you stand in the COMMENTS section (which is where you'll find the Boys Will Be Boys 12" link).
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