Boys Brigade

From the beginning, there was a mystique that set the BOYS BRIGADE apart. This band grew in isolation, at a considerable distance from Toronto’s tough and desensitizing rock circuit, yet the intensity created at its rare and under-publicized performances promised almost as much as BOYS BRIGADE’S self-titled debut album delivers.

A loose alliance of young musicians-some already working professionally, others hold­ing down day jobs-became a band only after semi-organized rehearsals and jam ses­sions produced a version of “Mannequin”, which found its way into a Toronto radio sta­tion’s homegrown competition. Pressed for a name to identify the tape, one of the six tossed in, “BOYS BRIGADE … Why not?”

Why not, indeed. To everyone’s astonishment, “Mannequin” almost immediately became a homegrown hit-and BOYS BRIGADE began to take itself a lot more seriously. Origi­nally they favoured concert/dance settings and “after hours” club appearances in order to preserve their decidedly original musical perspectives.
Months later, Geddy Lee from RUSH caught the band at a private party and fell under the spell of its exotic guitar/synthesizer textures and irresistible rhythms (there are, remem­ber, three percussionists).

They were up to something different, Geddy says, “and they had some very strong songs. What impressed me most was that they weren’t trying to categorize themselves. They were throwing up a challenge-and I thought I could learn something by offering to produce them.”

Subsequently Geddy Lee was chosen as producer for this debut album. Putting to rest the band’s fears that any producer would leave his own trademark on their music, Geddy simply allowed them to establish their own pace and style in the studio. The result, BOYS BRIGADE, is the year’s most compelling debut, crackling with intelligence, personality and a sophistication that belies the band’s youthfulness. The album will be released simultaneously in Canada and the U.S., with European and Australian releases scheduled later in the year.

Don’t expect comparisons-there are none to be drawn. This is distinctly individual music, mercurial, vital-underscored by moody narratives while propelled by rhythms so potent you’ll find yourself unable to resist them.

We force ourselves to think in a different way, says bassist Wayne Lorenz, “about everything we attempt. We’ve never allowed ourselves to be pinned down. Good music should make more than one kind of statement … “.

BOYS BRIGADE does just that. In the band’s own words, a short journey through their music….

PASSION OF LOVE: “Just a love song-happy and careless. In our society people seem afraid to express affection. If you feel it, show it.” (Burn)

MELODY: “The main character is an observer, an outsider who finds himself drawn into an intense sympathy for the victim of a love-hate relationship.” (Burn)