Boys Like Girls
Sometimes you just have to do it yourself. The Boys Like Girls story is one of pure self-promotion - or at least PureVolume, the website that hosts mp3s from unsigned artists and independent labels.
But before the PureVolume moment, Martin Johnson was just another Boston musician in between bands with some songs he wanted to record. He recruited what essentially became Boys Like Girls.
With the tracks completed the group opened an account on PureVolume, and as sometimes happens, created a buzz (voted the best unsigned band) which led to bookings beyond New England and meeting producer Matt Squire who was at the controls for the band's '06 self-titled debut.
"Boys Like Girls" sold over a half-million copies which lead to more touring (both as a headliner and supporting act), festival shows and TV appearances. The group's debut DVD Read Between The Lines arrived in late '08.
Boys Like Girls started '09 with a U.K. tour. With that completed they entered the studio - or rather studios, recording "Love Drunk" in Vancouver and New York. The title track and "She's Got A Boyfriend Now" were released as singles. Also, "Two Is Better Than One," featured Country's Taylor Swift.
Prior to "Love Drunk's" September, '09, release Boys Like Girls performed at Asia's debut MTV World Stage concert in Malaysia with All-American Rejects, Hoobastank and Kasabian.
2006 Boys Like Girls
2009 Love Drunk
2012 Crazy World
A one-time music exec (marketing) said that if he found a promising band he'd lock them in a room and have them write nothing but love songs until they got it right. He figured women loved romantic songs and that was the key to success. To the best of anyone's knowledge he never got or took the chance but whether he is in London, L.A., or points in between, he'd be cheered to hear about Boys Like Girls, a band that fulfills that vision: Emo oriented Alt. Rock.
"Boys Like Girls" is all about relationships and their various iterations. They roll through their songs with energy and precision giving "Great Escape," "Five Minutes To Midnight" and "Heels Over Head" an appealing gloss. Most of the time they skim the surface but on "Dance Hall Drug," a tortured ballad that kicks into gear, they try for some depth but it's not really their ace.
"Love Drunk's" opener "Heart Heart Heartbreak," the melodic title track and "She's Got A Boyfriend Now" are about as strong a start as could be imagined.
Boys Like Girls enthused style allows them to breeze through clichés ('the shot heard 'round the world', 'this love is the real thing, love changes everything' or when it comes to losing at love 'the first one is the worst one') with hardly any notice.
The Country-oriented ballad "Two Is Better Than One," with Swift, is not only a change of pace, but proves they can actually handle an emotive song. The set's other two ballads don't fare nearly as well.
The more uptempo "Contagious," "The Shot Heard Round The World" and "The First One" are good but hardly distinctive.