New York City’s Wilful Boys is hard rock the way it once was -- and should always be -- for now and forever, amen. You know Wilful Boys are old-school from the start, as mainman and singer Steven Fisher isn’t out front of the band, prancing and preening. The man is behind the drumkit, his heavy-as-a-sack-of-bricks pounding driving these songs forward with a bruising, methodical force. Fisher is an Aussie -- as is bassist Mikey Watkins -- and the hardscrabble nature of his native land sweats heaps of grit and power all over Wilful Boys’ debut release, a 7” single on NYC’s Ever/Never Records. Alongside Degreaser and Ballroom, Wilful Boys are another face-blasting ensemble in Ever/Never’s stellar stable of New York/Australian combo units.
“Anybody There” is existential crisis as mid-tempo assault; there’s just the right amount of introspection amidst the beer-guzzling chunks of riff -- as executed by Johnny Provenzano and Nicholas Isles -- shifting beneath Watkins’ bulldozer bass. “Flat Out” is the best song the Cosmic Psychos never wrote, a not-so-distant cousin to down-and-out laments like “Custom Credit” and “Bad Day.” The verse -- “I’m waiting on a break/in the day or in my back” -- follows the descending riff into a well of hopelessness, but the overdriven chorus proves there’s still some fight left in these Wilful Boys. Like the best rock n’ roll, this is music for drinking away your life’s worries.