Tuesday, September 18, 2007

We Are The Boyz

Although recorded during the sessions for This Is Hardcore, this song ultimately made its home on the soundtrack to the heavily hyped Todd Haynes glam-rock odyssey Velvet Goldmine. (It actually first appeared as the b-side to “Party Hard.”) With thick guitars and an intentional misspelling, the track was largely viewed as a pastiche of Slade. Tersely describing young lads on the scene, the song initially seems to fit in with “Party Hard” and “I’m a Man”; it may in fact be the more energetic and commercial song of the three.

The twist comes about three-fourths of the way through, when Jarvis fast-forwards to the present day. Suddenly, “We were the boyz.” With just a few simple word choices, the song suddenly goes from brash and proud to mournful and pleading. “C’mon, we’re still the boyz/We’re still the boyz.” You practically watch them age right before your eyes. It’s a testament to the benefits of concise, focused storytelling. Too bad Velvet Goldmine didn’t follow suit. (However, the soundtrack is uniformly excellent.)

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