Dublin's STRONG BOYS return with their first release in six years with the 'Homo' EP. With about as much subtlety as a pub fight spilling onto the street, these four tracks vent against the church, dated attitudes, predatory creeps with wandering hands and more. This is still defiantly gay hardcore with no meat on the bone for admirers of 86 Mentality and Negative Approach.
Our take: If someone played me Strong Boys for the first time without any prior knowledge of the artwork or the lyrics, I might assume they were a bunch of aggro boneheads playing tough as nails hardcore. With the deep, gruff vocals and the mosh-worthy, yet jangly, Oi!-infused hardcore styling, Strong Boys sounds eerily like 86 Mentality. The band also reminds of me the slightly more regional ilk of laddish bands like The Flex or Violent Reaction. While the tough as nails descriptor rings true musically, Strong Boys is a band that defies expectations. With their quite frankly titled new 7” Homo, Dublin’s Strong Boys are an unabashed gay hardcore band with lyrics confronting the church, ignorance, and homophobia, among other topics. This band combines a powerful variety of seemingly disparate ideas to make one explosive cocktail of a hardcore band. If you were to take an across-the-pond lad sensibility, mix it with the leatherboy presentation of Limp Wrist, add some thoughtful and confrontational lyrics, maybe a Number One for good measure, and then make it sound more like Negative Approach, then you’ve got Strong Boys. An essential slammer for a multitude of reasons.