Hissing Tiles – Boychoir
Boychoir is the band’s second LP, and first for the experimental label Whited Sepulchre (Midwife, Planning For Burial, Forest Management). Recorded at Cincinnati’s historic Ultrasuede Studio, the album exhibits a more cohesive coupling of the desperate noise of early releases with an expanded sense of melody, dynamics, and space. Their approach to production and instrumentation is lawless: synths and vibraphones ring out next to prepared guitars and broken cymbals; tambourines and choirs share space with birdsong, controlled microphone feedback, and sampled drones. A washing machine is used as a percussion instrument. No sound was considered off limits.
Thematically, the band has chosen to use its platform to examine and dissect male archetypes, looking at how they contribute, or are directly responsible for, a world they view as increasingly drowning in alarming, toxic rhetoric. The songs on Boychoir act as a series of ground-level vignettes, portraying family members led astray, the silently complicit, the increasingly unhinged, and the outwardly destructive. For all of the vitriol shown towards these targets, there is an equal amount of empathy and solidarity shown towards those forced to exist in such an environment, and an overriding sense of hope that humanity will eventually right the ship.
“Boychoir makes some valiant stabs at discussing gender politics and gender policing. Masculinity is positioned as an intrusive presence in an otherwise balanced world. It’s an obligation to be fulfilled, a role to play. And when masculinity arrives, it carries all its associated language and horrors. It must be with some self-consciousnesses the artists chose a rock group — one of the most stereotypically masculine forms — to try and undermine such roles.” – No Wave
“Slabs of harsh, muscular riffs sit alongside noise-drenched freak-outs, and lyrical themes that question gender stereotypes and masculinity. As abrasive as the songs can be though, there’s an underlying sense of empathy and desire for connection fueling Boychoir, making it an album that ultimately feels cathartic, and refreshingly hopeful.”- The Sound Not the Word
““Boychoir” is a surreal smear that weaves a narration of a botched ear-piercing in the back of a Catholic church into a broader dissection of the terror and paranoia that results from any interaction with the childhood gender norm border guards. ” – Tiny Mix Tapes
released August 30, 2019
Primary engineering by Jacob Tippey at Ultrasuede Studio.
Overdubs engineered by Michael Squeri at Culture Vacuum Recording.
Mixed by Jacob Tippey at Martini Church.
Mastered by James Plotkin at Plotkinworks.
Album photography by Andy Knolle
Patrick Apfelbeck – Drum Kit, Broken Cymbals, Music Stand, Shakers, Skittery Hi-Hats, Washing Machine, Samples
Michael Squeri – Singing, Electric Guitar, Prepare Guitars, Microphone Feedback, Keyboard, Synth, Tambourine, Samples, Vibraphone on 6 & 11.
Erik Ziedses des Plantes – Bass Guitar, Loops, Drones, Singing, Vibraphone on 10.
Maggie Cleary And Regina Squeri: Singing on 1, 4, 5, 8, 9.
Whited Sepulchre Records 2019