B Boys

Dudu

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AllMusic Review by

B Boys do a lot with two chords. Since the group's formation in 2014, a minimalist ethos has served as one of their guiding principles, and yet their spiny post-punk doesn't come across as simplistic. Pounding out compact arrangements with a kind of martial stringency, the New York trio has tempered their music with a sense of artful wit, helping to color their social commentaries with shades of absurdism. Their songs are at once off-putting and strangely compelling, filled with stunted rhythmic breakdowns, staccato riffs, and barked phrases. Edging ever forward, though taking care to avoid any excess, Dudu follows 2017's Dada, picking up more or less where the band's debut and its preceding EP left off. As on each of the band's releases, the vocals are split diplomatically between guitarist Britton Walker and bassist Brendon Avalos, who tag-team back and forth while drummer Andrew Kerr drives the engine. A perception of unity remains a B Boys hallmark, with each member shouldering his appropriate share of the song's mass. There are no solos to speak of and what melodic leads exist are more often than not covered by the bass while both singers issue their questions and commands in rhythmic near-monotone shouts. There are plenty of standouts among Dudu's 15 tracks, which blend standard-length songs with a handful of brief kinetic outbursts that hover around the one-minute mark. The nervy "Pressure Inside," with its hoarse cries of "Guilty!" and "Prove it!," is a prime B Boys cut, as is the choppy gem "I Want." The excellent "On Repeat" takes a more full-bodied punk approach and the moody "Asleep/Awake" is a dark, plodding anthem with some surprising textural varnish. A worthy follow-up and tonal cousin to B Boys' strong debut, Dudu hits its mark.

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