The crunchiness that starts off “Gone Too Far”, along with the vocal sneer given the track by the band, really casts The Boroughs as a mixture of The Ramones and early Husker Du. The presence of guitar distortion is always there, and the simplstic lines that create the track make sure that tracks like “Gone Too Far” are easy to remember, no matter how individuals’ tastes run. Continuing these catchy types of guitar riffs with the soloistic work done on “Ostrich”, The Boroughs commit to each track with a certain measure of classic influence.
This classic influence, while not linking The Boroughs to acts like The Rolling Stones and The Beatles, is a much more dirty and down style that is plenty more visceral and real than anything the bands that preceded The Boroughs could conceivably come up with. Starting off “Dine ‘N Ditch” with a super-sonic composition much like The Misfits, the reduction is sound does not entail a lack of fury; The Boroughs skillfully link together driving punk rhythms with a post-punk ennui that further draws listeners to their cause. While each of the songs on “Ostrich” has a sound that touches on the present as much as the past, The Boroughs firmly ground themselves in a style that will touch people as well in 2005 as it did in 1985. There does not need to be the depth in terms of composition, for The Boroughs work on a number of levels. This ability means that this trio can bash through tracks like “Dine ‘N Ditch” with the only really difficult part being the Matt Freeman like bass and still elicit weeks and weeks of discussion.
The band has less than twenty minutes to carve out a niche for themselves on “Ostrich”; with a dedication to their sound that is only trumped by acts like The Ramones, twenty minutes is nearly the same as an album. Only coming into a slight weakness for the very Dead Boys-influenced “Trust Fund”, The Boroughs traverse a well-trodden style of music without falling into the pools of work done by previous bands. This skirting of possible ruts ensures a familiar but not derived type of sound. The Boroughs are a band to look for in the next few years, as the genuine style of punk and post-punk they play will get hipsters and patch-emblazoned punks up on the dance floor alike.
Top Track: Ostrich
The Boroughs – Ostrich / 2005 Self / 5 Tracks / http://www.theboroughs.net / Reviewed 26 November 2005