Billy Boy on Poison

Drama Junkie Queen

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New York scuzz-rock by way of the Sunset Strip, Billy Boy on Poison feel as if they were concocted in a laboratory, assembled from elements of every rock trend since 1994. Take a bit of the Strokes' tight, efficient new wave art-punk and downtown hipster sensibility; add a bit of hooks borrowed from Oasis, a little disco-rock from Franz Ferdinand, enough ironic hair metal thievery to get them on the radio à la Hinder, and a bit of Jet's three-chord bounce; and season with Jack White guitar solos and stairstep classic rock riffs reworked from Hendrix and the Beatles -- and you'll have Drama Junkie Queen, a trash-rock exercise that would be a guilty pleasure if Billy Boy on Poison didn't take themselves so bleeding seriously, thinking that their description of the world as a "sh**box skybox sexbox" is deep and believing that boasting that they can get a girl wet is sexy, not creepy. No amount of junk-food hooks can make this pretty-boy stance palatable, particularly when such affected disaffection is pushed toward the front in ways that get increasingly distasteful and boring by the time they're singing "Oh sh**/F*** you/We'll do what we want to do/We rule/You suck/We don't really give a f***" to a playground singsong hook...and at that point, there are still three tracks of the dreck to go. Yes, rebellion is part and parcel of rock & roll, but this isn't rebellion, it's paint-by-numbers that never bleeds outside the lines.

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