Downtown Boys didn’t need a suddenly re-energized women’s rights movement to spur them to create excellent Ladies First, horn-laden punk. They’ve been doing it from the beginning with Victoria Ruiz turning “She’s brown! She’s smart!” into a rallying cry on their breakout album Full Communism. And even though they’ve signed to Sub Pop and received a bit more support since those skronk-rock early cuts, their basement-bred aggressive and unapologetic brand of bilingual feminism isn’t going anywhere.
Take, for example, their first Sub Pop single “Somos Chulas (No Somos Pendejas).” The track’s title follows a similar refrain as the aforementioned “Monstro,” this time around in Spanish. Ruiz shouts that they are elegant ladies, not idiots repeatedly over a cleaned-up but no less furious backing band. Even the band’s take on the title is a bit of a feminist reclamation, taking a word that typically means sexy and recasting it as a mark of excellence.
While there’s no accompanying news about a Full Communism follow-up, we have to assume the band is bashing out tunes in the studio. And it’s a good thing because a new album from the raucous Rhode Islanders is one of the best gifts that 2017 to give to us.