"Their slackened vocals and alternation between loud fuzz and slightly less loud fuzz recalls a time when indie rock wasn't expected to sell deodorant….Herzog came up with one of the best pieces of Midwestern "fuck our band" anti-heroism since the heyday of Local H." - Pitchfork
Herzog has quietly been building a devoted following with their relentless take on guitar-driven power-pop. Comparisons to ‘90s luminaries such as Built to Spill, Sebadoh, and Dinosaur Jrabound---apt and warranted---but similarities with present-day bands like Diarrhea Planet, Thee Oh Sees and FIDLAR are equally appropriate.
Boys is the new album by Cleveland's Herzog on Exit Stencil Recordings and is by far their most ambitious, cohesive, and sonically diverse album to date. To record the album the band sequestered themselves in the Upstate New York confines of Marcata Recording and worked with acclaimed producer, Kevin S. McMahon (The Walkmen, Titus Andronicus)---and the results are spectacular. Thematically Boys examines the inherent contradictions and ironies of being a working / struggling musician, what exactly keeps one motivated while apparently on a treadmill.
Nick Tolar’s voice---part Neil Young, part Jeff Mangum---holds sway over the album, informing the well-crafted lyrics with a mood that conveys the right tenor of emotion. From the doubled-vocaled, driving attack of “Full Stick,” the Thin Lizzy-style synchopated guitar solos of “Boys Theme,” and the Spector Wall of Sound on “Satan Is Real,” Herzog illustrates that they are informed by the breadth of guitar-laden music but not confined to one form of expression. Nods to the past are present but Herzog is by all means in the here and now.
Boys is as catchy as it is diverse, inventive as it is informed, melodic as it is sonic, and enjoyable as it is enrapturing.