Milwaukee’s New Boyz Club describes itself as a “glitter folk punk” outfit, but that only hints at the group’s expansive sound and its far-flung influences. The eight-piece band, formed in 2014 by upright bass player Johanna Rose, includes musicians from seemingly every vital Riverwest act today. Soul, jazz, folk, and celebratory indie rock all crop up in typical New Boyz Club performances, which have been plentiful. Now the group is readying its debut EP, G l O r Y g L o R y, the first in a planned trilogy of three-song releases that, according to Rose, are “connected by a running story line about how systematic oppression plays out through interpersonal relationships.”
G l O r Y g L o R y begins with the previously released “The Police State Will Fall,” a haunting, powerful, and ultimately triumphant tribute to the Black Lives Matter movement. A booming choir of more than two dozen singers fills out the song’s runtime, which washes in and out like the tides of history. Closing song “Taxes” is a nearly five-minute jazz freakout, complete with saxophone from the ever-busy Jay Anderson, distorted vocals from Rose, a surprisingly tender second half, and self-confessional lyrics like “I have manic episodes every other day.” Middle track “What If I,” meanwhile, is a nervy, staccato song that embodies the energy and danger of the aforementioned lyric. “I sleep with my eyes open!” Rose shouts near the song’s end.
Subsequent installments in New Boyz Club’s trilogy of three-song EPs will be released over the next year and a half. Before the band celebrates G l O r Y g L o R y ‘s release (complete with an accompanying zine from Rose) at Company Brewing Friday, September 30, listen to it now, only at Milwaukee Record.