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Boy/Girl

Secret Secret Secret Singles

(307 Knox; US: 7 Jul 2007; UK: Unavailable)

An “introduction track” is pretty common on full-length albums these days. Same goes for the ever-scarce deity known as the “interlude”. To find either of these nuggets on an EP, however, is an unusual site. To find both is just weird. Boy/Girl, a drum/guitar duo out of NYC, may seem like they’re really stretching the limit of their 5-track EP by having one of those tracks being an intro and the other being an interlude—leaving only three actual songs. Fortunately for Boy/Girl, however, those three songs kick quite a bit of ass. 


Though it’s so easy to file any drum/guitar duo into the “sounds like the White Stripes” tick box, here this minimalist twosome (Lisa Cusack and vocalist Eric Stiner) manage to actually take a few cues from another like-minded NYC rock act: the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. “Rorshack” has the kind of stop-start intensity that could have fitted on one of Karen O & co.‘s pre-Fever to Tell EPs. “The Shakes”—pumped full of power-chords and indie-rock optimism—could be some low-key rock station hit were it not sounding like it was recorded in a toilet adjacent to the Strokes’ already-sketchy studio. The intro/interlude combo is surprisingly cinematic in scope, and “Stare to the Sun” eventually falls into that inevitable Jack White comparison, but for all the good reasons. At barely over 10 minutes, Secret Secret Secret Singles covers a lot of ground, but the feeling of having a trash-compacted indie-rock epic is surprisingly thrilling: all the thrills and none of the spills.

Rating:

Evan Sawdey started contributing to PopMatters in late 2005, and has also had his work featured in publications such as SLUG Magazine, The Metro (U.K.), Soundvenue Magazine (Denmark), the Daily Dot, and multiple national newspapers. Evan has been a guest on RevotTV's "Revolt Live!" as well as WNYC's Soundcheck (an NPR affiliate), was the Executive Producer for the Good With Words: A Tribute to Benjamin Durdle album (available for free at GoodWithWordsAlbum.com), and wrote the liner notes for the 2011 re-release of Andre Cymone's hit 1985 album A.C. (Big Break Records), the 2012 re-release of 'Til Tuesday's 1985 debut Voices Carry (Hot Shot Records), and many others. He currently resides in Chicago, Illinois. You can follow him @SawdEye should you be so inclined.


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