Boy Kill Boy

Civilian
(Island)

Here's the problem with riding the ass-end of a wave where everything old is new again: The tide eventually comes in, and what was previously a tight refurbishment seems like trite regurgitation. Take London-based synth-pop rockers Boy Kill Boy — the band has a spacy '80s sound reminiscent of Simple Minds and Morrissey, and a sizzling, sing-along single called "Suzie" that's been iTunes' "Single of the Week." Too bad the band didn't form until 2004, the same year The Killers' Hot Fussalbum was burning up the Billboard charts, and a year after Franz Ferdinand's smash hit "Take Me Out" brought New Wave back to the airwaves. It's not that Civilianisn't catchy and cleverly done — it is — but you can only pack so many synthesizers and la-la-las onto one gravy train. The best song on the album is The Knack-flavored "Suzie," but there are few other truly standout tracks. There are moments when Boy Kill Boy throws something fresh into the old recipe, like the snappy snare drum intro on "Showdown" and the mod death song "Shoot Me Down," but those moments are fewer and farther between than the next nostalgia trend.

 
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