Published Mar 16, 2016The title for Brooklyn band B Boys' first release, No Worry No Mind, is a funny one. In the context of their music — broody, artsy post-punk — it comes across as sardonic, but No Worry No Mind, deemed their "sonic manifesto" in a press bio, has the feel of a fully fleshed-out full-length. Everything feels economical, not a single note seems wasted. The clean guitars are content to bash out uncomplicated rhythms alongside the chugging rhythm section. Bassist Brendon Avalos shares vocal duties with guitarist Britton Walker, and both favour laconic drawls equally as much as barking; sometimes they shout together.
Like post-punk forefathers Wire — whose distinct influence cast a long shadow over No Worry No Mind — B Boys have a knack for brevity, establishing ideas and concepts and moving on before they get stale. In that regard, most of the songs feel like sketches, and "Psycho" is a prime example, as the band manage to get through a verse, chorus and a wildly exciting guitar solo in just over a minute.
Yet they chose to include an alternate version of "Psycho" at the end of No Worry No Mind, and it's fascinating how much mileage they can get out of reinterpreting their own material. This "Psycho," appropriate "(Reprise)" tag included, uncoils and stretches out the guitars while the jittery, anxious core of the song continues to thump. What was before a manic rush encapsulated in song is now rendered serene, and you can practically hear the sigh of relief coming after each repeat of "Psycho, get it out of my head!"
Anxiety rears its head once more on "Get A Grip," a manic number that feels as messy as it does endearing, while "Nevah" recalls Pink Flag-era Wire with its neat and hooky arrangement and "Other Head," which involves both vocalists, juxtaposes a calm, mantra-like chorus with a vocal line sputtering about with unease.
It makes for a bleak yet funny listen, and that feels like the core mission of No Worry No Mind: capturing the sound of malaise and infusing it with whatever jittery, uneasy energy the band can muster. (Captured Tracks)